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Indigenous scarf artwork final

Cobham launches indigenous-inspired scarves for cabin crew as a symbol of respect

A painting by indigenous artist Reuben Ugle is the inspiration for a change in Cobham Regional Services’ cabin crew uniform, launched this week as part of NAIDOC Week. Cobham cabin crew will wear the newly designed scarves across all charter and FIFO flights.

Reuben is from the Whadjuk Noongar peoples in Western Australia, the Traditional Custodians of the land where Perth Airport, Cobham Regional Services’ Headquarters and private terminal, are based.

“Being given the opportunity to design artwork for Cobham Regional Services gave me the confidence and drive to produce something of very significant importance to Noongar people,” Mr Ugle said.

“It is such an honour to see my artwork as part of the uniform at Cobham, I’m very proud to be part of it.”

Cobham Regional Services Managing Director Claude Alviani said that Cobham commissioned Reuben for a design that could be adopted as a symbol of respect, to be worn by crew who regularly fly to regional and remote sites throughout WA and SA.

“Since we launched our first Reconciliation Action Plan in 2021, we have been taking specific actions to engage with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander stakeholders, and to improve awareness and understanding of the culture, customs, history and achievements of our land’s traditional owners.”

“Reuben has experienced working FIFO in a lot of remote and regional locations and there is a real sense of connection and understanding for what we do.”

“We love the design and the thought behind the design that Reuben has produced – and the original artwork is proudly on display in our head office,” Mr Alviani said.

Artwork story:

“This artwork is inspired by the aerial view of land and waterways and I have interpreted the Dreaming story of the Noongar Rainbow Serpent – Waakle from a Noongar perspective.

The blue borders represent the freshwater systems which include the rivers, lakes, swamps and gnamma (waterholes). Water is life-giving to everything in the boodjar (land/country).

The centre of the art piece represents the scales of the Waakle. The coat of the Waakle is pretty purple, blue and green. The spirit of the Waakle lives in the freshwater systems and its coat shimmers on the surface of the water reminding Noongar people of its presence.”