I have known Mal Walker since I first joined GreyHair Alchemy (GHA), the predecessor of the Australasian Interim Executive Association (AIEA), over 6 years ago.
Mal founded GHA as a co-operative of Compatriots to look out for both interim assignments and permanent positions to suit themselves and other members – with the objective of ensuring that Australasia makes the best use of the skills and experience of its grey-haired talent. With low overheads, no fees to members and low fees to clients, the cooperative approach of GHA was a ground-breaking approach to the problem of unemployed senior talent.
Mal went on to found AIEA in 2013, as an online association that continued the work of GHA in connecting members directly with organisations that are looking for Interim Executives.
Mal has been a passionate leader of both these organisations and is a consummate networker to the benefit of members. He has proved visionary in his approach to maximising the use of the lifetime skills and experience of individuals to the benefit of all – and continues to pro-actively communicate this vision.
I have known Mal Walker for some 20 plus years, we were acquaintances in his Information technology years and became solid business colleagues with his creation of GreyHair Alchemy and then the AIEA. There’s way too much to write about Mal’s contribution to many people and businesses, plus the grit that has made AIEA an influential Australian business group.
Through GreyHair, Mal has been a voice for professionals that have accumulated a great deal of capability. It may sound simple, it is just that Australia seems to have fallen into the trap that mature business people reach a use-by. So Mal has appeared in interviews and written a great deal about the value of the accumulated skills of this “grey haired” bunch.
Rather than whinge about the difficulties faced by mature business people Mal saw a need in Australian business, got off his butt and promoted bi-directionally to businesses and to this group, delivering business prosperity and continued career prospects for many.
My first personal experience with Mal was in the early 2000’s when he approached me about a Queensland business that was struggling and needed an experienced hand. I had never heard of an interim role before and I doubt the business had either. Mal was in the market looking for businesses who needed assistance, he was not spruiking for business, he was looking for genuine needs and plugging the holes with good people who were looking for something to do.
Mal was matching needs and skills all over the place, what struck me was that he was not just talking about it, he was in action … Mal was a “street savvy leader”. He didn’t wait to be asked to solve this problem, he didn’t wait for the right conditions or the support of the government or to be backed by anything other than himself and this “grit” I mentioned earlier.
I’ve seen Mal on the ABC, with news and magazine groups such as Business Acumen and presenting in person on many occasions … and Mal does not present about himself. Mal selflessly and confidently promotes his cause. Things could have stayed at this level, though maybe with the view of creating a sustainable legacy, and to ensure the good work would continue after his eventual retirement, Mal founded and grew the AIEA (sometimes it may have been simpler for Mal to just retire I think).
So, in terms of leadership, Mal saw opportunities that have both social and economic benefits, didn’t wait for permission, he began changing lives and business landscapes, people were (and are) drawn to him as he gets things done for the greater good. And beyond this … Mal leads and will leave a leadership organisation that is flourishing, is useful and I predict will extend even further in the future. Kudos to you Mal and thank you for your grit and perseverance.
I have known Mal Walker since 2013 when I attended an Australasian Interim Executives Association (AIEA) information event. On investigating further, I decided that AIEA was an organisation I wanted to join & be an active member of (which I did & still am today).
In arranging & facilitating all AIEA events, benefits & other activities, Mal is highly inclusive & generous with his time, knowledge & resources (in ensuring members have every opportunity to achieve their business & personal goals).
Since those early days, I’ve attended most AIEA monthly events & found them to be highly informative, diverse, relevant to my business, well organised & very welcoming. In doing so, I have come to know Mal well.
AIEA events are an important part of my professional development & business networking at a very reasonable cost. This is attributable to Mal’s professionalism, expertise & vast senior business contacts across a wide range of organisations, industries & sectors.
Mal Walker has been a highly valued business and personal colleague of mine since late 2014. We initially met at a business forum hosted by the Queensland Leaders Group in Brisbane as invited guests and took the opportunity to learn more about our respective businesses and past professional history.
As part of that discussion, Mal outlined his vision of developing his AIEA initiative into a powerful business networking and community oriented environment where highly qualified and experienced executive level individuals can share the benefits of their individual and collective wisdom with others at their discretion.
His unwavering focus and desire to achieve his goal since then has been contagious and that dream is now a reality. The journey to success has been underwritten by Mal’s somewhat unassuming but highly effective leadership style and enviable ability to garner unqualified support throughout the greater executive business community.
I have known Mal Walker for over 12 months in his role of Chairman, Australian Interim Executive Association, (AIEA), of which I am a member.
AIEA promotes the effectiveness of Interim Managers working in the Australian business community. A focus is on working with executives who might have been retrenched, or just between contracts, and provides extensive information about available roles, plus organisational contact information.
Mal Walker has put in place a strong support organisation that both disseminates details of numerous available executive roles, and holds monthly meetings featuring guest presenters who talk about a variety of experiences, lessons and approaches. AIEA is focussed on executives finding future prospects, together with support and encouragement, and these regular meetings are greatly valued.
Not only has Mal founded AIEA and developed it into a significant and empowering body for those seeking new roles, but he takes an active role in leading and mentoring.
His strengths include his organisational abilities, his ability to bring a support group together, and his tenacity in pursuing his goals for executive support.
More so, he has helped and encouraged many fellow executives in progressing their careers.
I have known Mal since 2014 when I first attended a function hosted by the Australasian Interim Executives Association (AIEA). I have since joined and am now a Fellow in the AIEA. The AIEA was created by Mal and provides a unique vehicle assisting a generally overlooked group in Australian society – the unemployed and underemployed senior managers and executives. The AIEA aims to better utilize this resource base of experience and expertise, to the benefit of both the individuals and the community. Noting also that these managers and executives can often experience long term underemployment / unemployment, which has adverse economic and social impacts for the individuals. I also posit that the fuller engagement of this group in the economy would be advantageous for the organizations and the overall economy, because of the wealth of experience and hence more effective operations of those organizations.
The AIEA model developed by Mal includes: An accreditation body for managers and executives Monthly functions with a guest speaker to share knowledge and provide networking opportunities with like-minded people A comprehensive weekly email of potential management/executive employment opportunities around Australia
I have personally found the service and support provided by AIEA to be quite helpful and uplifting. In carrying out his role as Executive Chairman of AIEA, Mal demonstrates vision, innovation, compassion, generosity, entrepreneurship and good organizational ability. He is also available to mentor people if requested.
In late 2013 when I was seeking an interim senior management role, a professional colleague recommended that I contact Mal in his capacity at the AIEA. The recommendation came not only because of Mal’s position in AIEA, but also because my colleague thought very highly of Mal, respecting him on several levels, commercially, professionally and personally. Mal gave me his time and insight when he barely knew me, for which I will be forever appreciative. After meeting Mal and then joining AIEA, I could understand in more depth, as to why my colleague held him in high regard. I too now feel the same.
Mal strikes me as a very decent man, operating with an inherent integrity and a genuine desire to facilitate opportunities and assist people to continue their journey through their working life. This in itself is a great benefit to the community. He champions people to make the most of their abilities and be able to continue to use their skills and experience in a meaningful way, whether they are seeking full-time engagement or just interim or minor roles, or in non-paid advisory capacities.
In my opinion, Mal is consistent in his approach but flexible when he needs to be. He is innovative in his thinking and from what I have seen of him in AIEA, he is a leader that supports his colleagues in “getting the job done” without ego taking over. He is generous in his support of people, and not afraid to give credit where it is due, while still being able to call things as he sees it and deliver a straight response on difficult subjects/ issues.
At various events that AIEA stages, Mal demonstrates all that I have said of him and I have never witnessed anything different of his character, behaviour and demeanour. He is well-deserved of this nomination, and I wish him all the very best. However, should he not “win”, I think the good grace of Mal himself will have him feeling like a winner right now (a very humble one), simply because he was nominated.
My first introduction to Mal Walker was in his capacity as the Chairman of AIEA at an AIEA business function some 2 years ago. What impressed me on that first meeting, our subsequent conversation over coffee - and ever since - was that Mal had established such a useful, practical and professional organisation whose purpose was to connect experienced, mature, like-minded professionals with each other, and also organisations who need them.
Whilst it could be argued that there are already several networking associations and organisations, the fundamental difference with Mal’s approach through establishing the AIEA, has been to identify, activate, and maximise opportunities for the wealth of long-term professional skills, experience, and expertise, to interact and be utilised productively. The rapidly changing workplace is in danger of overlooking the extraordinary depth of professional talent and experience out there in the marketplace, in the mistaken belief that that talent and experience has been left behind in the wake of the digital Tsunami.
Nothing could be further from the truth. And Mal’s perceptiveness and insight in drawing together that pool of experience and expertise, speaks to a deep understanding of both sides of the relationship between what an organisation needs, and how to address that need - quickly and comprehensively to the benefit of all parties involved.
Dr Christiaan Willems
I have known Mal Walker in his role as Chair of the Australian Interim Executive Association (AIEA) since January 2014.
Mal, as founder and Chair of AIEA, has been able to recognise the need of business to source and hire reliable, experienced personnel in executive and director roles that have developed skills, experience, professional presence, proven leadership, and career based integrity on an interim and as required basis. The identification of these business needs has led to him to develop a broad community network of experienced professionals who have the ability, industry experience, desire and commitment to meet the differentiated needs of businesses.
His vision for and recognition of marrying the needs of these non-traditional business sectors has set him apart as a leader. He has further shown his leadership ability by creating a community of professionals who have a strong commitment to continuing and extending their own careers in this sector which was previously not recognised. His sense of community has delivered purpose and direction to many experienced professionals and added value to many businesses in general.
I can attest to Mal Walker’s commitment to the broader professional and business community which undoubtedly displays his astute leadership in this sector.