HMRI Foundation welcomes new Chair

Dec 5 2022

Long-term HMRI Foundation member Kristie Atkins has been appointed as Chair of the HMRI Foundation, moving into the role as longstanding leader, Scott Walkom, takes on the role of Deputy Chair.

HMRI Board Chair, Kyle Loades, says, “We are so grateful to Scott for his energy, expertise and enthusiasm in guiding the Foundation for the past seven years. In that time, his contribution has been enormous, from leading fundraising initiatives to donating hundreds of hours of his time to the Foundation.

“He is now stepping into the Deputy Chair role to make way for another outstanding leader,” says Loades.

"We are very excited to welcome Kristie Atkins on to HMRI’s board of directors and into the role of Chair of the HMRI Foundation. She has been an active Foundation member since its inception and a donor to HMRI for that period. Her marketing expertise, extensive network and governance experience will help drive the Foundation forward.” - Kyle Loades

Kristie Atkins is managing partner of leading customer acquisition and retention business, Wink. She has held numerous Director roles, including with Restaurant and Catering Industry Association Australia, and was Founder and Chair of HMRI Sydney Foundation. Prior to Wink, she held leadership positions with Village Roadshow, Ovato, Event Hospitality & Entertainment and others. She originally started her career as a radio journalist and announcer in the Hunter, after graduating from the University of Newcastle.

In the past year, Kristie has been named B&T Women in Media Entrepreneur of the Year, Australasia’s Certified Practicing Marketer of the year, named Fellow of peak global body, Chartered Institute of Marketing and inducted as Life Member by Australian Marketing Institute.   

Kristie Atkins says, “It has been such a privilege to witness the unbelievable growth of HMRI. Our foundation members are champions of philanthropy and ambassadors for the institute in the community.  It’s a great honour to take this next step as we approach our 25th birthday.”

Scott Walkom, who is a major donor and whose mother Sonia Walkom was also a major donor, Foundation board member and HMRI ball organiser, says his long family association with HMRI will continue.

Scott Walkom says, “It’s been an absolute pleasure being the HMRI Foundation Chair. I have loved watching the Foundation grow and I want to thank the whole organisation, including the Board and the Foundation, as well as HMRI staff, for the way that everyone has worked together as a team. We have seen some outstanding results, including an increase in philanthropy that has helped to improve medical research globally."

“Kristie is an absolutely committed and passionate person who will do a fabulous job for the future of HMRI. I look forward to supporting her as the Deputy Chair,” says Walkom.