Sydney Airport honours female aviation trailblazer
Sydney Airport (SYD) has named the new flyover into the domestic airport after aviation trailblazer, Deborah Lawrie AM.
Lawrie was the first woman in Australia to become a pilot for a commercial airline, something she only achieved after winning the country’s first successful High Court sex discrimination case for employment.
The decision paved the way for women to get equal rights in workplaces across the country.
On 22 January, 1980, Lawrie made history when she co-piloted an Ansett flight from Alice Springs to Darwin.
The flyover is part of the NSW government’s A$2.6 billion Sydney Gateway project to improve traffic flow and reduce travel times.
The Deborah Lawrie Flyover is adorned with Aboriginal artwork designed by Dennis Golding and Carmen Glynn-Braun from the Re-Right Collective, in partnership with the La Perouse elders and cultural advisors, to make it an eye-catching piece of infrastructure.
This weekend, the 800-metre-long flyover will open to traffic, streamlining access to the T2 and T3 domestic terminals.
Sydney Airport CEO, Geoff Culbert, said: “It is an honour to name this impressive piece of infrastructure after Australia’s first commercial female pilot, Deborah Lawrie.”
“Lawrie didn’t just pave the way for women in aviation, but her High Court win was the catalyst for change in workplaces across Australia to give women equal opportunities and rights.
“More than four decades after that landmark case, Deborah Lawrie has notched up an impressive 20,000 flying hours, and we love seeing her come through Sydney Airport flying planes for Virgin.
“She fought hard for her wings, and the Deborah Lawrie Flyover has now cemented her place as one of the most significant aviation pioneers in Australia.”
Lawrie noted: “If someone had said to me way back when I was 25, taking on Ansett in the High Court to become a commercial airline pilot, that one day there would be a flyover into Sydney Airport named after me, I would have thought they were mad.
“I am very honoured and humbled by the incredible gesture to name this impressive flyover after me and I hope I can continue to inspire future generations of aviators.”