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Aboriginal heritage and engagement

Our relationship with Aboriginal people seeks to respect and recognise the heritage values of the Perth Airport estate and to make a positive contribution to the Aboriginal community of Western Australia.

The land on which Perth Airport is located forms part of the traditional network of communication routes, meeting places and camping sites of the Noongar people. As the Traditional Custodians of the land, the Noongar people maintain a strong interest in the Perth Airport estate and its management.

Heritage management

A number of archaeological and ethnographic sites have been identified on the estate and are registered on the Western Australian Department of Aboriginal Affairs’ Register of Aboriginal Sites.

The Aboriginal Heritage Act 1972 (AH Act) protects places and objects that may be of significance to people of Aboriginal descent in Western Australia. All Aboriginal heritage sites that meet Section 5 of the Act on the airport estate are protected, whether or not they are included in the Register of Aboriginal Sites.

Partnership Agreement

The strong connection between members of the Noongar community and the land on which Perth Airport is situated is recognised in a Partnership Agreement that was reached in 2009 between Perth Airport, the Traditional Custodians and other Aboriginal community members.

The Partnership Agreement was reached in a spirit of cooperation and commitment to fostering cultural heritage, as our development progresses.

Parties to the Agreement meet regularly to discuss airport planning, cultural awareness activities, cultural history, and Aboriginal sponsorship and tertiary scholarship opportunities.

School Planting Week 

An important aspect of School Planting Week, where local school students participate in planting native seedlings on the estate, is the cultural awareness training. Students can take part in a tour led by a member of the Aboriginal community, who discusses traditional bush tucker and medicine.

NAIDOC Week celebrations

Each year, we celebrate NAIDOC Week (National Aborigines and Islanders Day Observance Committee) across the airport estate with a unique display of Aboriginal art and a range of other activities for the enjoyment of passengers, visitors and staff. NAIDOC Week is recognised nationally as an occasion to celebrate the history, culture and achievements of Indigenous Australians. 

Edith Cowan University Scholarship Program

In partnership with Edith Cowan University (ECU), Perth Airport annually awards two scholarships to first year Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander students undertaking studies at ECU at a special ceremony during NAIDOC Week.