Floating airplane docks, personalised transport systems, see-through buildings and a zoo are just part of the winning futuristic vision Dalmeny Public School students have for a new airport precinct in western Sydney.
Students from Dalmeny Public School met two of the most powerful people in Australia today and have their skill at the online technology Minecraft to thank for the experience.
The students were winners of Liverpool City Council’s Minecraft Competition: Build the Western Sydney Aerotropolis.
As part of the competition the winning team was asked to present its concepts to Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian at the Aerotropolis Forum for national and international investors.
Dalmeny Public School principal Clayton Reedie said 20 students in years 4-6 worked in their own time on individual sections of the Aerotropolis before tying it all together to create the winning design.
Their design was built around the existing contour of the land and included a number of features that paid homage to the environmental aspects of the area and to the traditional indigenous land owners, Mr Reedie said.
The winning design included not only the airport, but STEM high schools, a university, a hospital, a zoo, an aerospace facility and provisions for modern shopping and transport.
He said the students also gave thought to the facilities within the airport itself including internal transport, money exchange machines, links to the greater Sydney area and security facilities.
Liverpool Mayor Wendy Waller said the competition was designed to appeal to primary school students, because as adults they would be seeking employment and further study options when the Airport and Aerotropolis – with its STEM high school, aerospace institute and university – were up and running in 2026.
“Dalmeny Public School students are just down the road from the Badgerys Creek site of the Airport and Aerotropolis,” Mayor Waller said.
“Their ideas were imaginative and clear. They hold all the keys to the future and they’ve expressed themselves wonderfully in our competition.”
Dalmeny teacher Daniel Melissari, who facilitated the winning entry, praised the enthusiasm of his students who had worked on it “during every single school break”.
“They loved it and thought it was the best thing ever. Their entry was really well thought out, as well and beyond anything I could have imagined,” he said.
Greenway Park Public School placed third in the competition which was judged by an expert panel that included Greater Sydney Commission CEO Sarah Hill, Western Sydney University Pro Vice Chancellor Professor Kevin Bell and Liverpool City Council Manager, Aerotropolis Bruce Macnee.
Dalmeny Public School received $10,000 for first prize and planned to purchase Lego equipment to create working robotics with the money
Mark Greentree, Department of Education Director, Technology for Learning, said the Minecraft Competition was a “fantastic digital technology activity that engaged hundreds of primary school students in the Liverpool area”.
“The success of [the] competition will complement the Department of Education’s expanded rollout of Minecraft in NSW public schools. Our schools are using Minecraft as an innovative, engaging tool to enable students to pose solutions to real-world problems, all linked to the curriculum.”
Watch these videos to find out more about the winning concepts developed by Dalmeny Public School, and Greenway Park Public School.