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PMA welcomes Dr Xaviour Walker to the PMA Membership Board

PMA Membership welcomes Tongan Geriatrician and Senior Lecturer to their Board of Directors

The Pasifika Medical Association Membership (PMAM) formally announces the appointment of Dr Xaviour Walker to the PMAM Board as the newest Board Director. Dr Walker comes with a wealth of experience in the space of academia and is a Consultant Geriatrician in Internal Medicine at Te Whatu Ora Southern, Dunedin Hospital in addition to being a Senior Lecturer for the University of Otago. With a background in geriatrics, hospital medicine, preventive medicine and public health, Dr Walker is dedicated to serving Pacific communities and contributing to the development of the Pacific health workforce.

Born to a Tongan mother and Northern Irish father, Dr Walker reflects on his aspirations to serve in the area of Pacific health.

“During medical school I spent a lot of time working in the Pacific and then became more involved with PMA. I worked in Fiji as an elective student in 2004 and that firsthand experience working with Pacific people was a real calling to me.

“I wanted to learn more about Pacific health and global health, but I think it’s also just in our DNA as Pacific people to help others, so that’s really been the calling.”

Dr Walker’s experience helping and mentoring students for the past twenty years is fitting as he steps into his role on the PMAM board.

“This is a great opportunity to form a stronger link with the University of Otago. We have over 130 medical students and 1200 health science related students in the university. Hopefully having me geographically in Dunedin, the link will be stronger and I can contribute by getting our students and staff more involved with PMA.

“I’m very passionate about pipeline workforce development and we’re getting more stay on. Although we have 70-80% of our Pacific population living in Auckland, there are growing regions across New Zealand where we have Pacific people and it’s important that we are able to represent them.”

Dr Walker looks forward to the learnings and is excited to offer his contributions to the board.

“I’m looking forward to learning more about governance and strategy so I can improve the way I give back. I’ve had a lot of different experiences on different levels in both New Zealand and internationally and hopefully I can also contribute that way.”

PMAM Chair, Dr Jitoko Cama, acknowledges Dr Walker’s breadth of experience and says he is a welcome addition to the PMAM Board of Directors.

“We’re very excited to have Dr Walker join the PMAM Board. He has been a dedicated PMA member and has been involved in our work for many years. He will offer valuable insights and we look forward to the leadership and contributions he’ll bring to the board.”