- Local Champion
Dr Walton is passionate about access to, and participation in, higher education for students from disadvantaged backgrounds. She has been a longstanding member of the board of the Ardoch Youth Foundation, a children's charity providing educational support for children and young people experiencing disadvantage. She has also chaired the Equity, Access and Personal Welfare Committee of La Trobe University.
Dr Walton was Chancellor of La Trobe University from 2006 until 2011. The University established the Sylvia Walton Scholarship and the Sylvia Walton Equity and Diversity Annual Public Lecture in recognition of her outstanding leadership at the University in the area of equity and diversity and her significant contribution to education in Australia.
Dr Walton has received numerous awards including: the Sir James Darling Medal for Education (1998); the Officer in the General Division of the Order of Australia for her leadership and education at secondary and tertiary levels (2003); the Nganakarrawa Award (2004); and the Gold Medal, the most prestigious award conferred by Australian Council for Education Leaders (2007).