Aboriginal students are making their mark on Sydney’s new airport with a flag celebrating First Nations culture.

The flag, designed and painted by First Nations students from neighbouring Luddenham Public School as part of Western Sydney Airport’s school engagement programme, will fly from the top of a 75m-high crane being used in the airport’s construction.

Western Sydney Airport CEO Simon Hickey said the airport was committed to ensuring Australia’s new global gateway reflects and respects the region’s rich Aboriginal heritage, with First Nations people consulted throughout the airport design process. 

“From 2026, Western Sydney International will welcome millions of visitors from across Australia and the world and we want the airport to celebrate more than 60,000 years of First Nations culture with every one of them,” Hickey said. “But we’re not waiting until 2026 – we’re celebrating and embedding First Nations culture into everything we do here at Western Sydney Airport from construction to opening.  

The CEO added: “These young students will be able to drive past the airport construction site and proudly see their flag flying high on what will one day be Western Sydney International (Nancy-Bird Walton) Airport.  

“We are committed to ensuring that Western Sydney International makes a meaningful difference to the lives of First Nations people, providing jobs and economic opportunities now and into the future once the airport is operational.” 

An important representation

Luddenham Public School education support officer Krystal Player said flying the flag was an important representation of the school community, where more than a fifth of students are Aboriginal. 

“The flag features fifty dots to symbolise each student in our school and around the dots are the artworks created by each student, along with their handprints,” Player said. “This is a great opportunity for students to really connect with the airport and be part of its journey.”  

Earlier this year, Western Sydney Airport launched its inaugural Reconciliation Action Plan, outlining its commitment to honouring First Nations communities. Since construction began, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander workers have accounted for an average of 2.6% of the Western Sydney Airport team, exceeding the project’s target. 

Image: Western Sydney Airport