Dr Walker graduated as a veterinarian from the University of Melbourne in 1979. Through post-graduate examination, he obtained his Membership in Avian Health and thus became a college accredited avian veterinarian with the Australian and New Zealand College of Veterinary Scientists in 2003. He also has a Bachelor of Science majoring in Zoology from the University of Melbourne which he gained in 1976.
Until 1994, he worked as a general practitioner in Melbourne. In 1994, he founded the Melbourne Bird Veterinary Clinic and was the practice principal for the next 25 years until retirement in 2013.The Melbourne Bird Veterinary Clinic was the first veterinary clinic in Australia to work exclusively with birds. There are still only a handful of such clinics today. Approximately 30% of the clinic’s clients are pigeon racers. Dr Walker has lectured in avian medicine and surgery to veterinary students at the University of Melbourne and was an external examiner of the final year students in avian medicine and surgery until retirement. The Melbourne Veterinary Clinic is regularly attended by veterinary students wishing to build up their avian experience.
Dr Walker has had four books on pigeon health published. Two of these were co-authored with other avian veterinarians while, in the other two, he was the sole author. He has also authored or co- authored several peer-reviewed veterinary papers that have been published in prestigious veterinary journals including the Australian Veterinary Journal. Dr Walker has had many articles published in various pigeon and aviculture magazines and journals including “Birdkeeper” magazine and notably “The Australian Pigeon Racing Journal” where he has been a major contributor for 40 years. He was team leader of the group that diagnosed and developed a vaccine for the newly recognised pigeon disease of international importance due to Rota virus in 2016-2018. He was also the veterinarian to first diagnose pigeon paramyxovirus in Australia and worked with the Victorian state racing organisations to develop a protective vaccination protocol. In 2020 he conducted a pilot study investigating the effective of the Australian sub-unit Rota virus vaccine.
Dr Walker has been the veterinary consultant to the Victorian Homing Association (the largest pigeon racing organisation in Victoria) for over 30 years, and at various times the veterinary advisor to the Australian National Pigeon Association (the governing body for exhibition pigeons in Australia). He is honorary veterinarian on the Victorian Pigeon Racing Board.
Dr Walker founded the Australian Pigeon Company in 1994, which he continues to own and manage. This company develops, manufactures and distributes avian pharmaceutical products nationally and internationally.
Dr Walker has raced pigeons since 1969. He has twice been federation champion (best flyer of the year) and has twice been runner-up. He has won 18 open federation races. He also breeds and shows exhibition pigeons and has had numerous national champions. In 2000, he was inducted into the Victorian Homing Association (VHA) Hall of Fame for racing prowess . In 2018, he was made a life member of the VHA for veterinary service. In 2014, he received a Certificate of Meritorious Service from the Australian National Pigeon Association for providing veterinary service over many years.
Dr Walker has travelled extensively and has lectured to veterinarians and pigeon fanciers not only in Australia but also in the UK, USA, Malta, South Africa, Poland, China and New Zealand. He was keynote speaker at the International Veterinary Conference on Pigeons in Cracow, Poland in 2018. In particular, he have travelled to South Africa five times, once, as a guest of the Transvaal Racing Pigeon Federation, to address their members in Johannesburg and Cape Town. He has also visited Sun City in South Africa to witness the internationally famous US $1 Million dollar pigeon race conducted there and was a guest at the Victoria Falls World Challenge Pigeon Race in Zimbabwe. He has travelled to the USA five times as a guest of the American Union to speak at their annual conference. Dr Walker has also been a guest judge at the internationally recognized Blackpool racing pigeon show in the UK in 2009.
Dr Walker has contributed substantially to the international understanding of pigeon disease, in particular its management throughout the racing season. In addition, through the development and implementation of immunity studies, he has developed vaccination protocols that are now routinely used in Australia to control some of the most serious diseases that affect pigeons. Dr Walker’s professional expertise and pigeon breeding and racing experience has led him to have an international understanding of pigeon racing, not only from an avian veterinary medicine point of view but also as an active competitor. In turn, he is recognized internationally as an expert on pigeon veterinary matters and pigeon issues generally.