An Indigenous artwork made up of close to 5000 dots will make its way around the world on Qantas’ latest Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner.

The fresh livery is based on the work of late Northern Territory artist and senior Anmatyerre woman, Emily Kame Kngwarreye.

It is a tribute to her painting Yam Dreaming, adapted for the aircraft by Indigenous owned design studio Balarinji.


Oh, and get this.

It is only the second time in Qantas’ history that its iconic flying kangaroo has been altered to form part of the livery design.

The tone of the airline’s trademark red tail was adjusted to match the earthy red tones and white dots of Emily’s artwork.

Emily’s painting depicts the yam plant, an important symbol in her Dreaming stories and a staple food source in her home region of Utopia, 230km north-east of Alice Springs.

The aircraft will be named Emily Kame Kngwarreye in tribute to her.


Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce said the striking artwork will hopefully encourage more people to explore the Indigenous elements that form part of ‘the Spirit of Australia’.

“As the national carrier we’re thrilled to showcase another piece of Indigenous culture on one of our aircraft, and to reiterate our ongoing commitment to reconciliation with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce

He went on to say that it was a “beautiful, bold artwork”  that should catch people’s eye and spark a conversation about our country’s dynamic Indigenous culture.

Managing Director of Balarinji Ros Moriarty said the design studio was honoured to continue its 20-year partnership with Qantas to support the place of Aboriginal design in Australia’s global identity.

“It’s been a privilege to work with the brilliant imagery of the late Emily Kame Kngwarreye to create the airline’s fifth iconic Indigenous flying art aircraft. Emily was an extraordinary artist who is revered around the world.

Managing Director of Balarinji Ros Moriarty

Born in 1910, Emily began painting only in later life, completing more than 3000 exceptional works up until her death at 86 years of age.

Next month the aircraft will fly direct for 15 hours from the Boeing factory in Seattle to touch down in Alice Springs on March 2 where it will be welcomed by Emily’s family.

The plane will then fly to Sydney and Melbourne for crew familiarisation flights on Qantas’ domestic network before it enters service on international routes from late March.

This is the fourth Dreamliner to enter the Qantas fleet, following the arrival of Great Southern Land, Waltzing Matilda and Quokka.

And clearly, she’s already a hit if the number of positive comments and shares on our Facebook page are anything to go by after we posted the gallery last night.

Do you love the new livery too? Share your thoughts below.