Boomerang Bags 2017 Appeal


With Christmas only a few days away CAFNEC thought of doing a 7 days of Christmas Boomerang Bags Appeal.

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In the coming week we’re going to be telling you the story of Boomerang Bags Cairns as we approach our one year anniversary, day by day, photo by photo, seeking support from our followers to make 2018 as amazing for Boomerang Bags Cairns as 2017 has been. Here we refer to the BB Cairns community as ‘me’, so here we go..

On the first day of Christmas Cairns Regional Council gave to me – a grant about sustainabilityyyyy’

Thanks to a sustainability grant from Cairns Regional Council awarded at the end of 2016 we, Cairns and Far North Environment Centre, have been able to establish and grow Boomerang Bags Cairns. This initial funding provided us the opportunity to form this amazing and growing community, around sewing and the fight against plastic and waste in general. As this funding period comes to an end we are looking for support from individuals and businesses in the region to see Boomerang Bags Cairns continue to thrive.

Donate: Boomerang Bags appeal

Pictured: The first ever meeting we had about Boomerang Bags in early January 2017 – we had no idea what we were in for! We made one bag as a test. It was really badly made, but it was symbolic.


‘On the second day of Christmas our CAFNEC Marine Response Team gave to me – an awesome first sewing beeeeee’.

Donate: Boomerang Bags appeal

On the 9th of February we held our first ever sewing bee organised by the CAFNEC Marine Response team. It was chaotic and awesome in equal measures as we sought out to find the most efficient way to make bags with dozens of people. The first sewing bee was probably our least productive, and maybe the bags of the lowest quality but the sewing bug was caught and our intentions set!

Pictured: group photo at the end of the night – they say bags make you happy?

‘On the third day of Christmas our sewers gave to me – an epic Boomerang Bags comitteeeee’
Donate: Boomerang Bags appeal

In April the Boomerang Bags Cairns Committee was officially born to steer the group, organise sewing bees, cut fabric, make take home packs, give talks at schools and community groups, run stalls and forge connections throughout the wider community with the project. An extremely special mention needs to go to Lou, Carla, Sam, Adele and Alice who have figuratively put their fabric under the machine all year (apologies for the sub par sewing analogy! Boomerang Bags as it is wouldn’t exist without them. Period. Volunteer power to the people.

Photo: Carla and Lou of the BB Cairns Committee model gorgeous aprons made out of donated material for volunteers to wear as a uniform at our stalls and events.

‘On the fourth day of Christmas our city gave to me – an amazing and supportive communityyyyy’
Donate: Boomerang Bags appeal

The Boomerang Bags Cairns community is growing more and more, and it is not the tea, coffee and yummy cakes and biscuits that are bringing them. They are dedicated volunteers who have a passion for sewing, a motivation for tackling the plastic issue and enjoy making good friends along the way. And when we find newly-made Boomerang Bags at the front door all ready to be added to the pile from take home kits, we just can’t rub the smiles off our faces. It isn’t just the volunteers though, we have had countless offers of support from other community groups, schools and businesses throughout the year. We’re going to share a couple of these now and over the next two days but they aren’t the only ones! Special thank you to everyone who has donated fabric – there are so many of you!

Will you donate? Boomerang Bags appeal

1. Lots of support in one image: The Power of Pallets made us some fantastic stands from recycled pallets, Cardzilla have made us some great signs and the The Source Bulk Foods Cairns let us put a display in their shop for Christmas
2. Derek made us a spinning stand from scratch and we took a photo with it for the paper. Photo Credit: Steward McLean of the Cairns Post
3. Tattooed Sailor Coffee Roasters donated coffee bags to make this pouffe which we stuff material offcuts into to repurpose them further – nothing goes to waste!

‘On the fifth day of Christmas Gordonvale State High School gave to me – repurposed white sheets painted beautifullyyyyyyy’
Donate: Boomerang Bags appeal

In the middle of the year a big bunch of white sheets were kindly donated from the Holiday Inn that would have otherwise been destined to landfill. We sent them over to the creative students from the special education unit at Gordonvale State School who fabric painted them with colourful designs as a part of a unit they were doing on turtles and plastic. Each student painted one sheet and they were sent back to us to make into beautiful and funky bags. This is just one example of the inspiring community connections that have grown out of this project, thank you Gordonvale State High School.

Photo: Just some of the fantastic fabric from the students – fabulous!

‘On the sixth day of Christmas Cairns State High School gave to me – student made bags sewn so perfectlyyyyyy’
Donate: Boomerang Bags appeal

One of the teachers at Cairns State High School came to us interested in getting their students involved in sewing bags as a part of their year 9 studies. We provided donated material and instructions to create bags and the class made 50 bags! The students became a part of an initiative teaching them the issue of plastic waste, and its devastating implications on our marine life. Thank you Cairns State High!

Photo: some of the gorgeous bags sewn by students

‘On the seventh day of Christmas my true love gave to me – a hilarious launch with plastic bag monster at Rustyyyyyy’s’
Donate: Boomerang Bags appeal

Just before xmas, having surpassed our initial target of sewing 500 bags we hit the streets of Cairns to start the official distribution of the bags. Roving around the city with our plastic menace – the plastic bag monster, and dressed in sandwich boards, aprons and with Boomerang Bags in arm we launched right into it! We wanted to have the greatest impact on people, not only by scaring them with our plastic bag monster but by having one-on-one conversations “about waste, about sustainability and about community, empowering people to be part of the solution”. Our motto is ‘one bag equals one conversation’.

Video: Check out the Channel 7 report of the launch

Cairns group promoting change

Cairns residents have formed a group with the aim of reducing plastic waste, all they needed was recycled material to promote

Posted by 7 News Cairns on Monday, 18 December 2017