Celebration of Indigenous Heritage at Brisbane Airport

Maroochy Baramba, Songwoman Turrbal Traditional Owner

Brisbane Airport Corporation (BAC) is proud to be the first airport in Australia to formally commit to celebrating and promoting the traditions, laws and customs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, with its first Innovate Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) officially endorsed by Reconciliation Australia.

Working in close partnership with the Traditional Owners, BAC’s RAP is based on building relationships, showing respect and looking for opportunities, while helping create social change and economic contributions for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

Julieanne Alroe, BAC CEO and Managing Director, said, “The land on which Brisbane Airport now stands has considerable cultural and spiritual significance to the Traditional Owners and it’s essential for us to recognise this and remember the importance of this area to those who inhabited it prior to airport infrastructure.

“BAC has worked closely with the Traditional Owners and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employees to produce an action plan that delivers real outcomes and meaningful reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians,” Ms Alroe said.

As well as an ancient Aboriginal burial site, a Bora Ring (ceremonial ground) is reported to have existed at Brisbane Airport, with the area used from time to time by local Indigenous tribes for camping, hunting and gathering.

“Under Aboriginal laws and customs, places of meaning remain significant regardless of the developments which may occur there. It is because of this, that BAC strives to acknowledge and accommodate this rich and diverse history,” Ms Alroe said.

“We look forward to sharing this history and championing South East Queensland’s incredibly rich Indigenous culture to the more than 22 million people who travel through Brisbane Airport every year, be it via Indigenous art, performances or cultural installations at the airport,” she said.

To help strengthen professional development, employment and economic opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, BAC’s RAP includes sponsored university scholarships and work internships for Indigenous students.

“Other initiatives like flying the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander flags alongside other national flags in front of the International Terminal and performing Acknowledgement of Country and Welcome to Country at airport events, are also simple yet significant steps in the direction of positive social change,” Ms Alroe said.

Brisbane Airport Corporation’s Innovate Reconciliation Action Plan can be viewed HERE.

For further information about Reconciliation Australia visit www.reconciliation.org.au.