We invested in our people this year as we worked together to strive for a culture of excellence.

As we continued to deliver services to enhance the customer experience and manage the growth of our passenger numbers, our direct employee numbers rose to 418. We implemented a range of new initiatives to build a high performance culture that supports our people to reach their potential, and increases organisational capability. Sydney Airport was recognised as an Employer of Choice as part of the 2016 Australian Business Awards. This was validation of the leadership we demonstrate, the culture we have built and the programs and initiatives we have implemented to make Sydney Airport an even better place to work.

Recognising our people

We introduced new measures to recognise the achievements of our people and support stronger collaboration across the organisation.

Our new employee recognition scheme allows people to acknowledge, recognise and thank their colleagues for demonstrating our values through their actions at work. People can nominate anyone in the organisation, with nominees recognised at quarterly staff briefings. In the first five months of the scheme, 54 staff members had been nominated across the business – more than one in eight employees.

This scheme has provided new opportunities to recognise the benefits of cross-collaboration, and the importance of our values-based culture to drive operational performance.

Driving employee engagement

We launched a new intranet called Airportal in December in response to feedback from our 2015 employee survey. The site provides further opportunities for cross-functional communication and collaboration. This new source of information sharing and news is fostering strong and vibrant employee interaction across the business.

We also introduced staff volunteering leave during the year to provide employees with the opportunity to volunteer during work hours. The program saw 45 staff volunteer for community and not-for-profit organisations that support the communities in which we operate. Their contribution amounted to 206 volunteering hours over the course of the year. This strong support for volunteering leave complemented our workplace giving program.

Valuing diversity and inclusion

The Board adopted our new Diversity Policy in January, with an expanded definition of diversity. The policy seeks to ensure our workforce is made up of people of different backgrounds who bring a range of skills, styles, attributes and experiences that contribute to the success of our organisation. Our newly established Diversity Council is overseeing the delivery of our diversity programs and initiatives as we implement our new policy.

We continued to work towards our targets to increase female representation at Sydney Airport, both in terms of overall staff numbers and within our Generation Y population. The year saw 8.7% growth in overall female representation, and 11.2% growth among Generation Y staff. Female staff now make up 36.4% of our total workforce. In addition, 33.8% of all management roles are held by females.

The composition of our workforce continued to span a more diverse range of ages, with our employees ranging from 24 to 68 years. Our workforce included 25.1% Generation Y (23-37 years), 58.1% Generation X (38-52 years) and 16.7% Baby Boomers (53-70 years).

The cultural heritage of our workforce also adds to our diversity, and collectively our employees speak 35 languages other than English, and represent 40 countries of origin. We celebrated our heritage on Harmony Day, sharing traditional food and delicacies with our teammates.

We also established a partnership with CareerTrackers Indigenous Internship Program, an organisation that creates internship opportunities for Indigenous university students. We also became members of Supply Nation and have commenced identifying opportunities to support Indigenous businesses through our supply chain.

Our values

Safety & security

Delivering the highest levels of safety and security

Integrity & openness

Acting honestly and openly to achieve corporate and social objectives


Responsible growth through balancing community and environmental needs with corporate objectives


Striving to deliver an outstanding airport experience through operational efficiency, superior customer service and innovation


Fostering a collaborative and supportive work environment that values diversity

Creativity & flexibility

Working with our partners to achieve superior business outcomes

Supporting the health and wellbeing of our staff

We are committed to keeping our people safe and healthy, both in the workplace and at home. This year we established a policy to support employees who may be experiencing domestic and family violence. The policy provides employees with access to additional leave to manage legal matters, moving house or other associated appointments without using annual leave.

Our Passport to Health program continued, providing employees with a range of services and programs to support their wellbeing. This included preventative measures such as flu shots, vaccinations and breast cancer screening, raising awareness of mental health and implementing formalised critical incident support. Activities such as yoga, gym subsidies and the bicycle network were also offered to staff.

Learning and development

We increased our focus on building the capability of our people to enable them to work more collaboratively and deliver better outcomes for our customers and stakeholders. In 2016, we launched a new suite of programs incorporating an online learning management system. This contributed to a comprehensive training offering, including online modules, skill-based face-to-face programs, on the job opportunities and leadership and management training. This supported the career paths for our people, with 39% of all opportunities (45% of permanent opportunities) going to internal candidates.