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New Noongar language welcome signs unveiled at Perth Airport

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Visitors arriving in Western Australia will now be met with new Noongar language welcome signs that light up to reflect the six seasons of the Noongar calendar.

The six-metre-high signs are adorned with Indigenous symbols that reflect the landscape and meaning of Wadjak Boodja.

Perth Airport’s chief commercial and aviation officer, Kate Holsgrove, said the signs will give visitors a unique welcome and an introduction to Noongar culture.

“We know that visitors to Western Australia, particularly those who have travelled from overseas, want to experience our unique Indigenous culture,” she enthused.

“While we have Welcome to Country signage and acknowledgments in all our terminals, these new roadside signs will make a significant first impression on visitors as they head into Perth and beyond.

“They will also serve as a lasting reminder and a farewell as they return to the airport to head home. “We really wanted these signs to be meaningful and respectful of Indigenous traditions and culture.

“So, we’ve taken the time to listen to local Noongar people to hear their stories and understand what was important for them to be represented in the signs.”

Inspiration is said to be drawn from the elemental tones of the Noongar landscape, creating a natural palette with high contrast to ensure the signage compliments and do not compete with the surroundings.

The lighting structure, for example, supports the six seasons in Noongar culture and are represented as six vibrant colours.

Artist, Jami, said that the artwork is about my Noongar people and the connections of our community and the magic it creates when we come together.

“Our culture is so unique, and I wanted to emphasise on its beauty by using symbols that move around each other to create a synergy in the piece. Each symbol, line and circle all represent something so special to this place – Wadjak Boodja,” said Jami.

Holsgrove added: “Perth Airport sits on traditional lands of the Wadjak people of the Noongar Nation and once formed parts of their travelling networks.

“As an airport we connect Western Australia to the rest of the world this has inspired us to showcase, celebrate and reflect the deep historical, cultural and spiritual ties that First Nations’ Australians have to this land and waterways.

“This commitment also led to us further modifying the design of Perth’s New Runway to ensure the Munday Swamp heritage site is protected and accessible for future generations of Noongar people.

“We were also the first airport in Australia to acknowledge Traditional Custodians of destinations across Australia by showing the Traditional Custodians name alongside the commonly used name of other ports at our domestic departure gates.”

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