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Tributes paid to Donna Walker after holiday tragedy

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The insurance industry has been left stunned by the sudden death of Allianz Australia’s Chief Technical Officer Donna Walker.

As previously reported by insuranceNEWS.com.au, Ms Walker, who was well known across the insurance industry, died while holidaying in Tanzania with her husband.

It is now understood that she died during a tour of the Serengeti National Park, shortly after climbing Mt Kilimanjaro.

Allianz Australia MD Richard Feledy says Ms Walker was “a much-loved and respected member of the Allianz family”.

“In addition to being an integral part of Allianz’s senior management team and an inspiring leader to her division, Donna was also passionate about celebrating the role that women and young people play in the Australian insurance industry,” he said.

“As Chair of the Women in Allianz network, Donna actively promoted the importance of flexibility in the workplace, diversity and inclusion. In her role on the Board of the Australian and New Zealand Institute of Insurance and Finance, she actively engaged with emerging leaders in the industry and shared the wisdom from her wealth of experience.

“Donna will be profoundly missed by her family at Allianz. We send our deepest condolences to Donna’s family and friends.”

Prior to joining Allianz, Ms Walker held a variety of senior roles during 17 years at CGU and parent company IAG. These roles included chief actuary, GM technical services, GM claims and, most recently, EGM broker business.

She was a high-profile advocate for the advancement of women in insurance, and a regular speaker at industry events and conferences.

Friends and industry colleagues paid tribute to her memory on the insuranceNEWS.com.au website and social media channels.

“One of the most intelligent, engaging, and thoughtful people I have ever had the privilege of meeting in this industry,” Steadfast EGM Adrian Humphreys said.

Deloitte Partner Samantha Fuller says Ms Walker was “a fabulous ambassador” to the female actuarial community. “I will always remember Donna as full of life, inspiration and positivity,” she said.

Marsh Managing Principal Alan Lee described her death as a “tragic loss to the industry,” while LMI Group founder Allan Manning paid tribute on his blog.

“It was with great sadness and shock that I learned of the passing of Donna Walker, an insurance professional for whom I had the highest regard and respect,” he said.

“I join my family and the entire team at LMI in offering our sincere condolences to her family and colleagues.”

Funeral details have not yet been made public.