27 May 2019
- Range of activities planned at the airport to showcase Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture and heritage to a global audience
- Launch of Sydney Airport’s inaugural Innovate Reconciliation Action Plan
Sydney Airport will showcase Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture to a global audience to help celebrate National Reconciliation Week which begins today.
A range of activities are planned for the week, including daily Acknowledgment of Country, smoking ceremonies and cultural entertainment in the forecourt of the T1 International terminal.
The airport will also celebrate the Indigenous history of coastal Sydney with stories shared inside the T1 International and T2 Domestic terminals.
Today marks the launch of the inaugural Sydney Airport Innovate Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP), aimed at helping to grow stronger relationships between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and other Australians.
Sydney Airport CEO Geoff Culbert said that the airport was delighted to join the nationwide celebration of National Reconciliation Week.
“We’re especially proud to be able to showcase the culture of First Australians to the many thousands of international visitors who will come through Sydney Airport this week.
“Our first Innovate Reconciliation Action Plan is part of our broader focus on supporting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and making a tangible, positive and lasting contribution to reconciliation,” he said.
The Sydney Airport Innovate RAP, which has been formally endorsed by Reconciliation Australia, demonstrates the airport’s commitment to build respect, understanding, unity and equality between Australia’s First Peoples and other Australians.
The RAP also recognises Sydney Airport’s status as Australia’s gateway to the world and the unique opportunity it has to shape visitors’ first impressions of Australia by showcasing and supporting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture and heritage.
The airport’s reconciliation journey so far has sought to support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, and particularly those located close to the airport’s 907-hectare site on the north shore of Botany Bay, a site of great importance to First Australians.
“We recognise the special significance that land in this area holds for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and have invested in programs to protect it, including zoning for environmental conservation and initiatives such as our Sydney Airport Wetlands enhancement program,” Mr Culbert said.
Reconciliation Australia CEO Karen Mundine said she was delighted to welcome Sydney Airport to the RAP program by formally endorsing its inaugural Innovate RAP.
“The RAP program provides a framework for organisations to advance reconciliation within their spheres of influence,” Ms Mundine said.
“We wish Sydney Airport well as it explores and establishes its own unique approach to reconciliation, and we encourage the airport to embrace this journey with open hearts and minds, to grow from the challenges and to build on its successes.”
Since 2000, Sydney Airport has made substantial investments in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artwork, and in the past three years has significantly increased its investment in supporting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples through a variety of initiatives including the provision of internships, support for education programs and contributions to health services through a variety of grants.
“While we are proud of our work to date, we know we must all do more to ensure the future prosperity of First Nations peoples,” Mr Culbert said.
Sydney Airport’s Reconciliation Action Plan Working Group will continue to work with key internal and external stakeholders in four focus areas: showcasing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and place significance; generating respect and understanding; building meaningful relationships; and supporting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.
Sydney Airport’s inaugural Innovate Reconciliation Action Plan is available for download at sydneyairport.com.au/rap