Actor Alec Doomadgee Stopped from Bringing Boomerangs on Qantas Plane

19th Aug 2015

Security at the Brisbane Airport stopped Doomadgee as he tried to bring his ceremonial boomerangs with him on Qantas plane, telling him they are considered to be weapons.

The Aboriginal actor spent the last couple of days in the United States, exchanging his culture with Native Americans and was returning home to Doomadgee in Queensland, Australia.

The 39-year-old said:

"I normally carry my ceremonial boomerangs and my clap sticks and any things that are of great importance, or great, I guess spiritual significance, I carry them with me on the plane. I put them up in the overhead luggage compartment and I've never ever had any trouble with it no matter where I've gone, whether it's domestically or internationally."

In the end, the actor had to leave the boomerangs with a Native American friend, after refusing to put the ceremonial items in check baggage for fear of getting broken.

A spokesperson for the Australian airline apologized for the misunderstanding, saying:

"The safety of our passengers and crew is our number one priority, and our airport security team considered it safer for the boomerang to be checked in. We understand this item has cultural significance for the passenger, however, boomerangs aren't permitted in the cabin."

Doomadgee, however, was not satisfied with the explanation as to why he was not allowed to bring his boomerangs with him, saying:

"I can understand that if that was consistent across the board, but that has never happened before. If they want to run that line, they can do it across the board. Be consistent with what you're doing and what you're saying. Don't make one rule for the old Abos and one rule for everyone else. I don't see anyone pulling up the Pope when he walks on with his thing of beads because he might choke someone on the plane."

The Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development does not have boomerangs specifically banned from planes, but it does generally prohibit "blunt objects that can be used to bludgeon or threaten to bludgeon someone".

Qantas also does not prohibit boomerangs from its planes, but it does so for "weapons, restraining devices, knives and sharp tools or cutting implements such as scissors and screwdrivers and some sporting goods such as bats and clubs".