Image: Slide, 35mm, Nancy Bird Walton standing beside Leopard Moth aeroplane VH-UUG, c1935. Photographer unknown.
Powerhouse Parramatta and Western Sydney International (Nancy-Bird Walton) Airport are joining forces to amplify tourism, attract national and international visitors to Western Sydney and bolster STEM education as part of a new landmark agreement.
This groundbreaking partnership between two major Western Sydney infrastructure projects will see the largest museum in NSW and a leading museum in the Southern Hemisphere collaborate with Western Sydney’s world-class airport on joint initiatives, research and strategic programs in the area of First Nations, STEM, and aviation.
Western Sydney is Australia’s third-largest economy behind the Sydney CBD and Melbourne1. 800,000 new residents are projected over the next 20 years, making the region one of the fastest growing urban populations in Australia2. This unique partnership will accelerate Western Sydney’s overnight visitor economy, which already contributes $4.2 billion to the NSW economy annually3.
WSIA and Powerhouse Parramatta will be landmark Australian destinations, actively contributing to the renewal and redefinition of the Western Sydney visitor economy as dynamic, contemporary and distinctive. WSIA is Australia’s newest global gateway, a curfew-free 24-hour international airport providing seamless and reliable service for domestic and international customers. It will create tens of thousands of jobs in Western Sydney, most of which will be highly skilled in areas such as engineering, manufacturing, defence and education.
Powerhouse Parramatta will be a contemporary world-class museum and vibrant 24-hour precinct, presenting an ever-changing program including large scale cultural and community events for up to 10,000 people.
Under this agreement, Powerhouse Parramatta and WSIA will provide world-class STEM educational resources and immersive, engaging aviation education experiences for students in Western Sydney. It offers opportunities for students and young people to engage with over 500,000 Powerhouse collection items alongside learning experiences offered by aviation industry experts.
“Western Sydney is home to some of the most unique attractions in Australia and a key contributor to the NSW Visitor Economy. This strategic partnership between two of the state’s most significant infrastructure projects, Western Sydney International (Nancy-Bird Walton) Airport and Powerhouse Parramatta, will be instrumental to realising the government’s vision to bolster Western Sydney as major tourism destination for domestic and international visitors,” said Minister for the Arts and Tourism, Ben Franklin.
“We are very excited to partner with Powerhouse Parramatta in an initiative which will inspire young minds to set their sights on one of the tens of thousands of highly skilled jobs being created in and around Australia’s newest global gateway right here in Western Sydney,” said Western Sydney Airport CEO, Simon Hickey.
“We are thrilled to announce this partnership with Western Sydney International (Nancy-Bird Walton) Airport. With Powerhouse Parramatta expected to attract over 2 million visitors in its first year of operation in 2025, Western Sydney International Airport is a key strategic partner for bringing interstate and international visitors to the Powerhouse and positioning Western Sydney as an international tourism destination. The collaborative tourism economy initiatives and STEM education opportunities underpinning this partnership will provide a significant uplift for Western Sydney as a hub of economic, social, cultural and 24-hour visitor activity,” said Powerhouse Chief Executive, Lisa Havilah.
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Kirsty Randles | Powerhouse
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Chloe Kang | Powerhouse
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Powerhouse sits at the intersection of arts, design, science and technology and plays a critical role in engaging communities with contemporary ideas and issues. We are undertaking a landmark $1.4 billion infrastructure renewal program, spearheaded by the creation of the flagship museum, Powerhouse Parramatta; expanded research and public facilities at Powerhouse Castle Hill; the renewal of the iconic Powerhouse in Ultimo; and the ongoing operation of Sydney Observatory. The museum is custodian to over half a million objects of national and international significance and is considered one of the finest and most diverse collections in Australia. We are also undertaking an expansive digitisation project that will provide new levels of access to Powerhouse collections.
About Western Sydney International (Nancy-Bird Walton) Airport
The Western Sydney International (Nancy-Bird Walton) Airport is a state-of-the-art international airport currently under construction. The airport is planned to have 24-hour and curfew-free operations. It is on track to open to international, domestic and air cargo services in late 2026.
- Western Sydney University 2022, About Greater Western Sydney | Western Sydney University
- Western Sydney Leadership Dialogue 2022, Drop in Population Growth Demands a Western Sydney “re-think” — Western Sydney Leadership Dialogue
- Destination NSW, Western Sydney Visitor Economy Strategy 2017/18 – 2020/21