Sydney Airport unveils new look for volunteer ambassadors

Friday 27 October 2023

  • A new uniform has been unveiled for the airport’s popular ambassadors
  • More than 80 volunteers will now be decked out in jackets from M.J. Bale and scarves and ties designed by Indigenous artist Charmaine Mumbulla
  • This is the third official uniform since the ambassador program began in 1999

Sydney Airport’s popular volunteer ambassadors are now sporting a new uniform, which has been 100 per cent Australian designed and made.

Since 1999, ambassadors have been offering customer support in the terminals, with teams across T1 international as well as T2 and T3 domestic.

The ambassador program was introduced to help with the influx of visitors for the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games. It was so successful, that they have become a permanent fixture across the domestic and international terminals.

Today, there are more than 80 volunteers, who collectively speak over 20 languages and come from varied backgrounds, including retired airline workers, nurses, teachers and current aviation students.

When the program began in 1999, the volunteer ambassadors were dressed in distinctive gold jackets. In 2014, a bright sky-blue uniform was introduced but now, almost a decade on, it was time for another upgrade.

Airport Ambassadors gold jackets

The new uniform includes a cornflower blue jacket made from Superfine Merino wool and cotton shirts, all designed and manufactured in Australia by M.J. Bale.

The scarves and ties are adorned with artwork specifically designed for Sydney Airport by Indigenous artist, Charmaine Mumbulla. The artwork, titled ‘Heart Journey’ reflects the airport’s strength as a gateway and connector of people, places and communities and acknowledges its unique location surrounded by water.

Sydney Airport CEO, Geoff Culbert, said: “We are incredibly proud of the exceptional customer service our volunteer ambassadors deliver to passengers.”

“This dedicated team are in the terminals 365 days a year, giving directions, answering questions, problem solving, offering support and always doing it with a smile.

“With travel now well and truly back, it was time for a reinvigorated new quality uniform for our much-loved ambassadors.”

“Every part of this new uniform has been designed and made in Australia, including a beautiful Indigenous artwork that tells the story of our airport.”

Indigenous artist, Charmaine Mumbulla, said: “The artwork is called ‘Heart Journey’, and it tells the story of people who come together within Sydney Airport and connect at a moment in time. The large circle at the centre represents the busy, vibrant hub of Sydney Airport. Pathways weave and interconnect throughout this space showing connections, communities, gatherings, travel, trade and social interaction. The airport is surrounded by waterways, which were vital to the trade, ceremony and cultural life of the First Nations peoples.”

Ambassador Fran McKay said: “Since I first became an ambassador in 2000 during the Sydney Olympics, I’ve proudly worn three different uniforms, but I think this is by far the most smart and comfortable.”

ambassadors ambassadors

86-year-old Wayne Hinchcliffe has been an ambassador since the program began in 1999 and said: “It was a thrill to put on my gold jacket and welcome athletes and spectators flying in from all over the world for the Olympic Games. And now, 24 years on, I still really enjoy meeting people and hearing their unique stories.”

Ambassador Chiu Leong speaks four languages and has been volunteering since 2017. She said: “I absolutely love being part of the team and get so much joy and satisfaction from helping people.”

Ian Tormey, a retired marketing executive who has been volunteering at Sydney Airport since 2016 said: “I think this new uniform makes me look younger! Being an ambassador has been the most fulfilling role I’ve had in my 76 years. Volunteering here as made me think I should have been doing a customer service job my entire career.”

Note to Editor

  • Photos of airport ambassadors in their new uniforms can be found HERE
  • Photos of Sydney Airport CEO, Geoff Culbert, and ambassadors can be found HERE
  • Photos of airport ambassadors in previous gold and sky-blue uniforms can be found HERE

Additional information about the new uniforms

  • Jackets and shirts designed by M.J. Bale
  • Jackets - 100% Australian superfine Merino wool
  • Shirts - 100% Australian cotton
  • Artwork on scarves and ties designed by Charmaine Mumbulla and manufactured by M.J. Bale