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Christmas Island

Christmas Island

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Encyclopedia
The Territory of Christmas Island is a territory of Australia
Australia
Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...

 in the Indian Ocean
Indian Ocean
The Indian Ocean is the third largest of the world's oceanic divisions, covering approximately 20% of the water on the Earth's surface. It is bounded on the north by the Indian Subcontinent and Arabian Peninsula ; on the west by eastern Africa; on the east by Indochina, the Sunda Islands, and...

. It is located 2600 kilometres (1,615.6 mi) northwest of the Western Australian city of Perth
Perth, Western Australia
Perth is the capital and largest city of the Australian state of Western Australia and the fourth most populous city in Australia. The Perth metropolitan area has an estimated population of almost 1,700,000....

, 360 km (223.7 mi) south of the Indonesia
Indonesia
Indonesia , officially the Republic of Indonesia , is a country in Southeast Asia and Oceania. Indonesia is an archipelago comprising approximately 13,000 islands. It has 33 provinces with over 238 million people, and is the world's fourth most populous country. Indonesia is a republic, with an...

n capital, Jakarta
Jakarta
Jakarta is the capital and largest city of Indonesia. Officially known as the Special Capital Territory of Jakarta, it is located on the northwest coast of Java, has an area of , and a population of 9,580,000. Jakarta is the country's economic, cultural and political centre...

, and 975 km (605.8 mi) ENE of the Cocos (Keeling) Islands
Cocos (Keeling) Islands
The Territory of the Cocos Islands, also called Cocos Islands and Keeling Islands, is a territory of Australia, located in the Indian Ocean, southwest of Christmas Island and approximately midway between Australia and Sri Lanka....

.

It has a population of 1,403 residents who live in a number of "settlement areas" on the northern tip of the island: Flying Fish Cove
Flying Fish Cove
Flying Fish Cove is the main settlement of Australia's Christmas Island. Many maps simply label it “The Settlement”. It was the first British settlement on the island, established in 1888. The cove is named after the survey vessel ....

 (also known as Kampong), Silver City, Poon Saan
Poon Saan
Poon Saan is a small settlement on Christmas Island, an external territory of Australia. Ethnic Chinese make up the majority of inhabitants. In Chinese, Poon Saan means "halfway up the hill"....

, and Drumsite.

The island’s geographic isolation and history of minimal human disturbance has led to a high level of endemism among its flora and fauna, which is of significant interest to scientists and naturalists. 63% of its 135 square kilometres (52.1 sq mi) is an Australian national park. There exist large areas of primary monsoonal forest.

Phosphate
Phosphate
A phosphate, an inorganic chemical, is a salt of phosphoric acid. In organic chemistry, a phosphate, or organophosphate, is an ester of phosphoric acid. Organic phosphates are important in biochemistry and biogeochemistry or ecology. Inorganic phosphates are mined to obtain phosphorus for use in...

, deposited originally as dead marine organisms (not guano as often thought), has been mined on the island for many years.

Discovery


Captain William Mynors of the Royal Mary, a British East India Company
British East India Company
The East India Company was an early English joint-stock company that was formed initially for pursuing trade with the East Indies, but that ended up trading mainly with the Indian subcontinent and China...

 vessel, named the island when he sailed past it on Christmas Day in 1643. The island was included on British and Dutch navigation charts as early as the beginning of the seventeenth century, but it was not until 1666 when a map published by Dutch cartographer Pieter Goos included the island. Goos labelled the island Mony, the meaning of which is unclear. British navigator
William Dampier
William Dampier
William Dampier was an English buccaneer, sea captain, author and scientific observer...

, aboard the British ship Cygnet, made the earliest recorded visit to sea round the island in March 1688. He found it uninhabited. Dampier gave an account of the visit which can be found in his Voyages Dampier was trying to reach Cocos
Cocos
Cocos may refer to:* Cocos , a plant genus with the coconut as its only accepted species* Cocos Lagoon, south of Guam* Cocos Malays, an ethnic group inhabiting the Cocos Islands* Cocos Plate, a tectonic plate beneath the Pacific Ocean...

 from New Holland
New Holland (Australia)
New Holland is a historic name for the island continent of Australia. The name was first applied to Australia in 1644 by the Dutch seafarer Abel Tasman as Nova Hollandia, naming it after the Dutch province of Holland, and remained in use for 180 years....

. His ship was pulled off course in an easterly direction, arriving at Christmas Island 28 days later. Dampier landed at the Dales (on the west coast). Two of his crewmen were the first recorded humans to have set foot on Christmas Island.

Daniel Beekman made the next recorded visit, chronicled in his 1718 book, A Voyage to and from the Island of Borneo, in the East Indies.

Exploration and annexation




The first attempt at exploring the island was in 1857 by the crew of the Amethyst. They tried to reach the summit of the island, but found the cliffs impassable.

During the 1872–76 Challenger expedition
Challenger expedition
The Challenger expedition of 1872–76 was a scientific exercise that made many discoveries to lay the foundation of oceanography. The expedition was named after the mother vessel, HMS Challenger....

 to Indonesia, naturalist Dr John Murray
John Murray (oceanographer)
Sir John Murray KCB FRS FRSE FRSGS was a pioneering Scottish oceanographer, marine biologist and limnologist.-Early life:...

 carried out extensive surveys.

In 1887, Captain Maclear of HMS Flying Fish
HMS Flying Fish
There have been eleven ships of the Royal Navy that have been named HMS Flying Fish, after the Flying Fish. was a cutter purchased in 1778 and wrecked off Calais in 1782. was previously the schooner Esperanza captured from the French in 1793, recaptured by the French in 1795 and named Poisson...

, having discovered an anchorage in a bay that he named Flying Fish Cove, landed a party and made a small but interesting collection of the flora and fauna. In the next year, Pelham Aldrich
Pelham Aldrich
Pelham Aldrich CVO was a Royal Navy officer and explorer, who became Admiral Superintendent of Portsmouth Docks.-Biography:...

, on board HMS Egeria
HMS Egeria (1873)
HMS Egeria was a 4-gun screw sloop of the Fantome class launched at Pembroke on 1 November 1873. She was named after Egeria, a water nymph of Roman mythology, and was the second ship of the Royal Navy to bear the name...

, visited it for ten days, accompanied by J. J. Lister
Joseph Jackson Lister (naturalist)
Joseph Jackson Lister FRS was a British zoologist and plant collector from Leytonstone who collected biological specimens during travels in Africa, Asia, Australasia and the Pacific region....

, who gathered a larger biological and mineralogical collection.

Among the rocks then obtained and submitted to Sir John Murray for examination were many of nearly pure phosphate
Phosphate
A phosphate, an inorganic chemical, is a salt of phosphoric acid. In organic chemistry, a phosphate, or organophosphate, is an ester of phosphoric acid. Organic phosphates are important in biochemistry and biogeochemistry or ecology. Inorganic phosphates are mined to obtain phosphorus for use in...

 of lime
Lime (mineral)
Lime is a general term for calcium-containing inorganic materials, in which carbonates, oxides and hydroxides predominate. Strictly speaking, lime is calcium oxide or calcium hydroxide. It is also the name for a single mineral of the CaO composition, occurring very rarely...

, a discovery which led to annexation of the island by the British Crown on 6 June 1888.

Settlement and exploitation


Soon afterwards, a small settlement was established in Flying Fish Cove by G. Clunies Ross, the owner of the Cocos (Keeling) Islands (some 900 kilometres (559.2 mi) to the south west) to collect timber and supplies for the growing industry on Cocos.

Phosphate mining began in the 1890s using indentured
Indentured servant
Indentured servitude refers to the historical practice of contracting to work for a fixed period of time, typically three to seven years, in exchange for transportation, food, clothing, lodging and other necessities during the term of indenture. Usually the father made the arrangements and signed...

 workers from Singapore
Singapore
Singapore , officially the Republic of Singapore, is a Southeast Asian city-state off the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula, north of the equator. An island country made up of 63 islands, it is separated from Malaysia by the Straits of Johor to its north and from Indonesia's Riau Islands by the...

, Malaya
British Malaya
British Malaya loosely described a set of states on the Malay Peninsula and the Island of Singapore that were brought under British control between the 18th and the 20th centuries...

 and China
China
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

. John Davis Murray, a mechanical engineer and recent graduate of Purdue University
Purdue University
Purdue University, located in West Lafayette, Indiana, U.S., is the flagship university of the six-campus Purdue University system. Purdue was founded on May 6, 1869, as a land-grant university when the Indiana General Assembly, taking advantage of the Morrill Act, accepted a donation of land and...

, was sent to supervise the operation on behalf of the Phosphate Mining and Shipping Company. Murray was known as the "King of Christmas Island" until 1910, when he married and settled in London.

The island was administered jointly by the British Phosphate Commissioners and District Officers from the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 Colonial Office
Colonial Office
Colonial Office is the government agency which serves to oversee and supervise their colony* Colonial Office - The British Government department* Office of Insular Affairs - the American government agency* Reichskolonialamt - the German Colonial Office...

 through the Straits Settlements
Straits Settlements
The Straits Settlements were a group of British territories located in Southeast Asia.Originally established in 1826 as part of the territories controlled by the British East India Company, the Straits Settlements came under direct British control as a crown colony on 1 April 1867...

, and later the Crown Colony of Singapore.

Japanese invasion


From the outbreak of war in South East Asia in December 1941, Christmas Island was a target for Japan
Japan
Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...

ese occupation because of its rich phosphate
Phosphate
A phosphate, an inorganic chemical, is a salt of phosphoric acid. In organic chemistry, a phosphate, or organophosphate, is an ester of phosphoric acid. Organic phosphates are important in biochemistry and biogeochemistry or ecology. Inorganic phosphates are mined to obtain phosphorus for use in...

 deposits. A naval gun was installed under a British officer and four NCOs and 27 India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

n soldiers. The first attack was carried out on 20 January 1942 by the Japanese submarine I-59, which torpedoed a Norwegian
Norway
Norway , officially the Kingdom of Norway, is a Nordic unitary constitutional monarchy whose territory comprises the western portion of the Scandinavian Peninsula, Jan Mayen, and the Arctic archipelago of Svalbard and Bouvet Island. Norway has a total area of and a population of about 4.9 million...

 freighter, the Eidsvold. The vessel drifted and eventually sank off West White Beach. Most of the European and Asian staff and their families were evacuated to Perth. In late February and early March 1942, there were two aerial bombing raids. Shelling from a Japanese naval group on 7 March led the District Officer to hoist the white flag. But after the Japanese naval group sailed away, the British officer raised the Union Flag
Union Flag
The Union Flag, also known as the Union Jack, is the flag of the United Kingdom. It retains an official or semi-official status in some Commonwealth Realms; for example, it is known as the Royal Union Flag in Canada. It is also used as an official flag in some of the smaller British overseas...

 once more. During the night of 10–11 March a mutiny of the Indian troops, abetted by the Sikh
Sikh
A Sikh is a follower of Sikhism. It primarily originated in the 15th century in the Punjab region of South Asia. The term "Sikh" has its origin in Sanskrit term शिष्य , meaning "disciple, student" or शिक्ष , meaning "instruction"...

 policemen, led to the murder of the five British soldiers and the imprisonment of the remaining 21 Europeans. On 31 March, a Japanese fleet of nine vessels arrived and the island was surrendered. About 850 men of the 21st and 24th Special Base Forces and 102nd Construction Unit came ashore and occupied the island. They rounded up the workforce, most of whom had fled to the jungle. Sabotaged equipment was repaired and preparations were made to resume the mining and export of phosphate. Only 20 men from 21st Special Base Force were left as a garrison.

Isolated acts of sabotage and the torpedoing of the Nissei Maru at the wharf on 17 November 1942 meant that only small amounts of phosphate were exported to Japan during the occupation. In November 1943, over 60% of the Island's population was evacuated to Surabaya
Surabaya
Surabaya is Indonesia's second-largest city with a population of over 2.7 million , and the capital of the province of East Java...

n prison camps, leaving a total population of just under 500 Chinese and Malays and 15 Japanese to survive as best they could. In October 1945 reoccupied Christmas Island. After the war seven mutineers were traced and prosecuted by the Military Court in Singapore.

Transfer to Australia


At Australia's request, the United Kingdom transferred sovereignty to Australia; in 1957, the Australian government paid the government of Singapore
Government of Singapore
The Government of Singapore is defined by the Constitution of the Republic of Singapore to mean the Executive branch of government, which is made up of the President and the Cabinet of Singapore. Although the President acts in his personal discretion in the exercise of certain functions as a check...

 £2.9 million in compensation, a figure based mainly on an estimated value of the phosphate forgone by Singapore.

Under Commonwealth Cabinet Decision 1573 of 9 September 1958, D. E. Nickels was appointed the first Official Representative of the new Territory. In a Media Statement on 5 August 1960, the Minister for Territories, Paul Hasluck
Paul Hasluck
Sir Paul Meernaa Caedwalla Hasluck KG GCMG GCVO KStJ was an Australian historian, poet, public servant and politician, and the 17th Governor-General of Australia.-Early life:...

, said, among other things, that "His extensive knowledge of the Malay language and the customs of the Asian people... has proved invaluable in the inauguration of Australian administration... During his two years on the Island he had faced unavoidable difficulties... and constantly sought to advance the Island's interests." John William Stokes
John William Stokes
John William Stokes, also known as Jack Stokes was an Australian administrator in the Northern Territory Police, and on the Territories of the Cocos Islands and of Christmas Island....

 succeeded him and served from 1 October 1960 to 12 June 1966. On his departure he was lauded by all sectors of the Island community. In 1968 the Official Secretary was re-titled an Administrator in 1968 and, since 1997, Christmas Island and the Cocos (Keeling) Islands
Cocos (Keeling) Islands
The Territory of the Cocos Islands, also called Cocos Islands and Keeling Islands, is a territory of Australia, located in the Indian Ocean, southwest of Christmas Island and approximately midway between Australia and Sri Lanka....

 together are called the Australian Indian Ocean Territories and share a single Administrator resident on Christmas Island. A list and timetable of the Island's leaders since its settlement is at the World Statesmen site and in Neale (1988) and Bosman (1993).

The 2004 earthquake and tsunami centered off the western shore of Sumatra, Indonesia, resulted in no reported casualties, but some swimmers were swept some 150 metres (492.1 ft) out to sea for a time before being swept back in.

Refugee and immigration detention


From the late 1980s and early 1990s, boats carrying asylum seekers and mainly departing from Indonesia landed on the island. In 2001, Christmas Island was the site of the Tampa controversy
Tampa affair
In August 2001, the Howard Government of Australia refused permission for the Norwegian freighter MV Tampa, carrying 438 rescued Afghans from a distressed fishing vessel in international waters, to enter Australian waters...

, in which the Australian government stopped a Norwegian ship, MV Tampa
MV Tampa
MV Tampa is a roll-on/roll-off container ship completed in 1984 by Hyundai Heavy Industries Co., Ltd. in South Korea for the Norway based firm, Wilhelmsen Lines Shipowning.-Tampa affair:...

, from disembarking 438 rescued asylum seekers at Christmas Island. The ensuing standoff and the associated political reactions in Australia were a major issue in the 2001 Australian federal election.

Another boatload of asylum seekers was taken from Christmas Island to Papua New Guinea
Papua New Guinea
Papua New Guinea , officially the Independent State of Papua New Guinea, is a country in Oceania, occupying the eastern half of the island of New Guinea and numerous offshore islands...

 for processing, after it was claimed that many of the adult asylum seekers threw their children into the water
Children overboard affair
The Children Overboard affair was an Australian political controversy involving public allegations by Howard government ministers in October 2001, in the lead-up to a federal election, that sea-faring asylum seekers had thrown children overboard in a presumed ploy to secure rescue and passage to...

, apparently in protest at being turned away. This was later found to be false by a Senate select committee. Many of the refugees were subsequently accepted by New Zealand.

The former Howard Government
Howard Government
The Howard Government refers to the federal Executive Government of Australia led by Prime Minister John Howard. It was made up of members of the Liberal–National Coalition, which won a majority of seats in the Australian House of Representatives at four successive elections. The Howard Government...

 later secured the passage of legislation through the Australian Parliament which excised Christmas Island from Australia's migration zone
Australian migration zone
The Australian migration zone refers to the parts of Australian territory where a non citizen must hold a visa to legally enter and remain. It includes all states and mainland territories, plus some external territories, at the mean low water mark....

, meaning that asylum seekers arriving on Christmas Island could not automatically apply to the Australian government for refugee status. This allowed the Royal Australian Navy
Royal Australian Navy
The Royal Australian Navy is the naval branch of the Australian Defence Force. Following the Federation of Australia in 1901, the ships and resources of the separate colonial navies were integrated into a national force: the Commonwealth Naval Forces...

 to relocate them to other countries (Papua New Guinea's Manus Island
Manus Island
Manus Island is part of Manus Province in northern Papua New Guinea and is the largest island of the Admiralty Islands. It is the fifth largest island in Papua New Guinea with an area of 2,100 km², measuring around 100 km × 30 km. According to the 2000 census, Manus Island had a...

, and Nauru
Nauru
Nauru , officially the Republic of Nauru and formerly known as Pleasant Island, is an island country in Micronesia in the South Pacific. Its nearest neighbour is Banaba Island in Kiribati, to the east. Nauru is the world's smallest republic, covering just...

) as part of the so-called Pacific Solution
Pacific Solution
The Pacific Solution was the name given to the Australian government policy of transporting asylum seekers to detention camps on small island nations in the Pacific Ocean, rather than allowing them to land on the Australian mainland...

. In 2006 an Immigration Detention Centre
Christmas Island Immigration Reception and Processing Centre
Christmas Island Immigration Reception and Processing Centre or commonly just Christmas Island Immigration Detention Centre, is an Australian immigration detention facility located on Christmas Island in the Indian Ocean.- History:...

, containing approximately 800 beds, was constructed on the island for the Department of Immigration. Originally estimated to cost $210 million, the final cost was over $400 million.

In 2007, the Rudd Government
Rudd Government
The Rudd Government refers to the federal Executive Government of Australia of the Australian Labor Party from 2007 to 2010, led by Kevin Rudd as Prime Minister. The Rudd Government commenced on 3 December 2007, when Rudd was sworn in along with his ministry...

 announced plans to decommission the Manus Island and Nauru centres; processing would then occur on Christmas Island itself.

In 2010, around 50 asylum seekers died off the coast of the island as the boat they were travelling on crashed into the rocks off Flying Fish Cove.

Demographics


As of 2006, the estimated population is 1,493. (The Australian Bureau of Statistics reports a population of 1,508 as of the 2001 Census.)

The ethnic composition is 70% Chinese
Overseas Chinese
Overseas Chinese are people of Chinese birth or descent who live outside the Greater China Area . People of partial Chinese ancestry living outside the Greater China Area may also consider themselves Overseas Chinese....

 (mainly Hokkien
Hokkien
Hokkien is a Hokkien word corresponding to Standard Chinese "Fujian". It may refer to:* Hokkien dialect, a dialect of Min Nan Chinese spoken in Southern Fujian , Taiwan, South-east Asia, and elsewhere....

) 20% European and 10% Malay. Religions practised on Christmas Island include Buddhism
Buddhism
Buddhism is a religion and philosophy encompassing a variety of traditions, beliefs and practices, largely based on teachings attributed to Siddhartha Gautama, commonly known as the Buddha . The Buddha lived and taught in the northeastern Indian subcontinent some time between the 6th and 4th...

 67%, Christianity 11%, Islam
Islam
Islam . The most common are and .   : Arabic pronunciation varies regionally. The first vowel ranges from ~~. The second vowel ranges from ~~~...

 10% and others 2%. English is the official language, but Chinese languages and Malay
Malay language
Malay is a major language of the Austronesian family. It is the official language of Malaysia , Indonesia , Brunei and Singapore...

 are also spoken.

Postage stamps


A postal agency was opened on the island in 1901 and sold stamps of the Strait Settlements
Postage stamps and postal history of the Straits Settlements
The Straits Settlements of the Malayan Peninsula have a distinct postal history from the other Malayan areas.- Early postal arrangements :Mail was originally handled privately by passing ships; the earliest known postal markings date from around 1806, used by a post office on Prince of Wales Island...

.

After the Japanese Occupation (1942–45), postage stamps of the British Military Administration
British Military Administration
The British Military Administration was the interim administrator of British Malaya between the end of World War II and the establishment of the Malayan Union in 1946. Specifically, the entity lasted from September 1945 to April 1946...

 in Malaya
British Malaya
British Malaya loosely described a set of states on the Malay Peninsula and the Island of Singapore that were brought under British control between the 18th and the 20th centuries...

 were in use, then stamps of Singapore
Singapore
Singapore , officially the Republic of Singapore, is a Southeast Asian city-state off the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula, north of the equator. An island country made up of 63 islands, it is separated from Malaysia by the Straits of Johor to its north and from Indonesia's Riau Islands by the...

.

In 1958, the island received its own postage stamps after being put under Australian custody. It had a large philatelic and postal independence, managed first by the Phosphate Commission (1958–1969) and then by the Island's Administration (1969–93). This ended on 2 March 1993 when Australia Post
Australia Post
Australia Post is the trading name of the Australian Government-owned Australian Postal Corporation .-History:...

 became the island's postal operator: stamps of Christmas Island can be used in Australia and Australian stamps in the island.

Government


Christmas Island is a non-self governing territory of Australia, currently administered by the Department of Regional Australia, Regional Development and Local Government
Department of Regional Australia, Regional Development and Local Government
The Department of Regional Australia, Regional Development and Local Government is an Australian government department.The minister responsible for the department is The Hon Simon Crean MP.-Matters dealt with by the department:...

. Administration was carried out by the Attorney-General's Department
Attorney-General's Department
An Attorney-General's Department is a government department in certain countries.*Attorney-General's Department *Attorney-General's Department...

 up until 14 September, 2010, and prior to this by the Department of Transport and Regional Services before 29 November 2007. The legal system is under the authority of the Governor-General of Australia
Governor-General of Australia
The Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia is the representative in Australia at federal/national level of the Australian monarch . He or she exercises the supreme executive power of the Commonwealth...

 and Australian law. An Administrator
Administrator (Australia)
The title Administrator of the Government has several uses in Australia.-Administrator of the Commonwealth:At the Commonwealth level, Section 4 of the Australian Constitution provides that:...

  appointed by the Governor-General represents the monarch and Australia.

The Australian Government provides Commonwealth-level government services through the Christmas Island Administration and the Department of Regional Australia, Regional Development and Local Government
Department of Regional Australia, Regional Development and Local Government
The Department of Regional Australia, Regional Development and Local Government is an Australian government department.The minister responsible for the department is The Hon Simon Crean MP.-Matters dealt with by the department:...

. As an administered Territory, there is no state government; instead, state government type services are provided by contractors, including departments of the Western Australian Government, with the costs met by the Australian (Commonwealth) Government. A unicameral Shire of Christmas Island
Shire of Christmas Island
The Shire of Christmas Island is a Local Government Area which manages local affairs on the Australian external territory of Christmas Island...

 with nine seats provides local government services and is elected by popular vote to serve four-year terms. Elections are held every two years, with half the members standing for election.

Christmas Island residents who are Australian citizens also vote in Commonwealth (federal) elections. Christmas Island residents are represented in the House of Representatives through the Northern Territory
Northern Territory
The Northern Territory is a federal territory of Australia, occupying much of the centre of the mainland continent, as well as the central northern regions...

 Division of Lingiari
Division of Lingiari
The Division of Lingiari is an Australian Electoral Division in the Northern Territory. It was created in 2000, out of the former Division of Northern Territory. It covers almost the entire Territory , an area of , making it the second largest electorate in terms of area in Australia...

 and in the Senate by Northern Territory Senators.

In early 1986, the Christmas Island Assembly held a design competition for an island flag; the winning design was adopted as the informal flag of the territory for over a decade, and in 2002 it was made the official flag of Christmas Island
Flag of Christmas Island
The flag of Christmas Island was unofficially adopted in 1986 after being chosen the winner in a competition for a flag for the territory. It was designed by Tony Couch of Sydney, Australia. The flag was made official on Australia Day, 2002 when the administrator of the territory, Bill Taylor,...

.

Economy


Phosphate
Phosphate
A phosphate, an inorganic chemical, is a salt of phosphoric acid. In organic chemistry, a phosphate, or organophosphate, is an ester of phosphoric acid. Organic phosphates are important in biochemistry and biogeochemistry or ecology. Inorganic phosphates are mined to obtain phosphorus for use in...

 mining had been the only significant economic activity, but in December 1987 the Australian government closed the mine. In 1991, the mine was reopened by a consortium which included many of the former mine workers as shareholders. With the support of the government, the $34 million Christmas Island Casino and Resort
Christmas Island Resort
The Christmas Island Resort, often called the Christmas Island Casino, is a holiday resort on Christmas Island, an Australian territory in the north-eastern Indian Ocean lying about 300 km south of Java and 1600 km north-west of the Australian mainland...

 opened in 1993, but was closed in 1998 and has not re-opened. The Australian Government in 2001 agreed to support the creation of a commercial spaceport
Spaceport
A spaceport or cosmodrome is a site for launching spacecraft, by analogy with seaport for ships or airport for aircraft. The word spaceport, and even more so cosmodrome, has traditionally been used for sites capable of launching spacecraft into orbit around Earth or on interplanetary trajectories...

 on the island, however this has not yet been constructed, and appears that it will not proceed in the future. The Howard Government built a temporary immigration detention centre on the island in 2001 and planned to replace it with a larger, modern facility located at North West Point until Howard's defeat in the 2007 elections.

Geography



Located at 10°30′S 105°40′E, the island is a quadrilateral
Quadrilateral
In Euclidean plane geometry, a quadrilateral is a polygon with four sides and four vertices or corners. Sometimes, the term quadrangle is used, by analogy with triangle, and sometimes tetragon for consistency with pentagon , hexagon and so on...

 with hollowed sides, about 19 kilometres (11.8 mi) in greatest length and 14.5 km (9 mi) in extreme breadth. The total land area is 135 square kilometres (52.1 sq mi), with 138.9 km (86.3 mi) of coastline. The island is the flat summit of a submarine mountain more than 4500 metres (14,763.8 ft), the depth of the platform from which it rises being about 4200 m (13,780 ft) and its height above the sea being upwards of 300 m (984 ft). The mountain was originally a volcano
Volcano
2. Bedrock3. Conduit 4. Base5. Sill6. Dike7. Layers of ash emitted by the volcano8. Flank| 9. Layers of lava emitted by the volcano10. Throat11. Parasitic cone12. Lava flow13. Vent14. Crater15...

, and some basalt
Basalt
Basalt is a common extrusive volcanic rock. It is usually grey to black and fine-grained due to rapid cooling of lava at the surface of a planet. It may be porphyritic containing larger crystals in a fine matrix, or vesicular, or frothy scoria. Unweathered basalt is black or grey...

 is exposed in places such as The Dales and Dolly Beach, but most of the surface rock is limestone
Limestone
Limestone is a sedimentary rock composed largely of the minerals calcite and aragonite, which are different crystal forms of calcium carbonate . Many limestones are composed from skeletal fragments of marine organisms such as coral or foraminifera....

 accumulated from the growth of coral
Coral
Corals are marine animals in class Anthozoa of phylum Cnidaria typically living in compact colonies of many identical individual "polyps". The group includes the important reef builders that inhabit tropical oceans and secrete calcium carbonate to form a hard skeleton.A coral "head" is a colony of...

 over millions of years. “The summit of this mountain peak is formed of a succession of tertiary limestones ranging in age from the Eocene
Eocene
The Eocene Epoch, lasting from about 56 to 34 million years ago , is a major division of the geologic timescale and the second epoch of the Paleogene Period in the Cenozoic Era. The Eocene spans the time from the end of the Palaeocene Epoch to the beginning of the Oligocene Epoch. The start of the...

 (or Oligocene
Oligocene
The Oligocene is a geologic epoch of the Paleogene Period and extends from about 34 million to 23 million years before the present . As with other older geologic periods, the rock beds that define the period are well identified but the exact dates of the start and end of the period are slightly...

) up to recent reef-deposits, with intercalations in the older beds of volcanic rocks.”

Steep cliffs along much of the coast rise abruptly to a central plateau. Elevation ranges from sea level to 361 m (1,184 ft) at Murray Hill
Murray Hill, Christmas Island
Murray Hill is the highest point of Christmas Island, an external territory of Australia, at 361 metres above sea level.-External links: , GeoNames....

. The island is mainly tropical rainforest
Tropical rainforest
A tropical rainforest is an ecosystem type that occurs roughly within the latitudes 28 degrees north or south of the equator . This ecosystem experiences high average temperatures and a significant amount of rainfall...

, of which 63% is National Park.

The narrow fringing reef
Reef
In nautical terminology, a reef is a rock, sandbar, or other feature lying beneath the surface of the water ....

 surrounding the island can be a maritime hazard.

Christmas Island is 500 km (310.7 mi) south of Indonesia and about 2600 km (1,615.6 mi) northwest of Perth.

Climate


The climate is tropical, with heat and humidity moderated by trade winds.

Flora and fauna







Christmas Island is of immense value as it was uninhabited until the late 19th century, so many unique species of fauna
Fauna
Fauna or faunæ is all of the animal life of any particular region or time. The corresponding term for plants is flora.Zoologists and paleontologists use fauna to refer to a typical collection of animals found in a specific time or place, e.g. the "Sonoran Desert fauna" or the "Burgess shale fauna"...

 and flora
Flora
Flora is the plant life occurring in a particular region or time, generally the naturally occurring or indigenous—native plant life. The corresponding term for animals is fauna.-Etymology:...

 exist which have evolved independently of human interference. Two-thirds of the island has been declared a National Park
National park
A national park is a reserve of natural, semi-natural, or developed land that a sovereign state declares or owns. Although individual nations designate their own national parks differently A national park is a reserve of natural, semi-natural, or developed land that a sovereign state declares or...

 which is managed by the Australian Department of Environment and Heritage through Parks Australia.

Flora


The dense rainforest
Rainforest
Rainforests are forests characterized by high rainfall, with definitions based on a minimum normal annual rainfall of 1750-2000 mm...

 has evolved in the deep soils of the plateau
Plateau
In geology and earth science, a plateau , also called a high plain or tableland, is an area of highland, usually consisting of relatively flat terrain. A highly eroded plateau is called a dissected plateau...

 and on the terraces. The forests are dominated by 25 tree species. Fern
Fern
A fern is any one of a group of about 12,000 species of plants belonging to the botanical group known as Pteridophyta. Unlike mosses, they have xylem and phloem . They have stems, leaves, and roots like other vascular plants...

s, orchids and vine
Vine
A vine in the narrowest sense is the grapevine , but more generally it can refer to any plant with a growth habit of trailing or scandent, that is to say climbing, stems or runners...

s grow on the branches in the humid atmosphere beneath the canopy
Canopy (forest)
In biology, the canopy is the aboveground portion of a plant community or crop, formed by plant crowns.For forests, canopy also refers to the upper layer or habitat zone, formed by mature tree crowns and including other biological organisms .Sometimes the term canopy is used to refer to the extent...

. The 135 plant species include at least eighteen which are found nowhere else.

Christmas Island’s endemic plants include the tree
Tree
A tree is a perennial woody plant. It is most often defined as a woody plant that has many secondary branches supported clear of the ground on a single main stem or trunk with clear apical dominance. A minimum height specification at maturity is cited by some authors, varying from 3 m to...

s Arenga listeri
Arenga listeri
Arenga listeri, the Lister's Palm, is a species of flowering plant in the Arecaceae family. It is named after naturalist Joseph Jackson Lister.It is endemic to Christmas Island and is threatened by habitat loss....

, Pandanus elatus
Pandanus elatus
Pandanus elatus is a dioecious tropical plant in the screwpine genus. It is endemic to Christmas Island, an Australian territory in the north-eastern Indian Ocean. Its specific epithet comes from the Latin elatus , in reference to its growth habit.-Description:Pandanus elatus is an erect tree,...

and Dendrocnide peltata
Dendrocnide peltata
Dendrocnide peltata, commonly known simply as the Stinging Tree or Jelaton, is a large tree in the nettle family Urticaceae. With the other species of the genus Dendrocnide it is known for the stinging hairs which cover the whole plant and cause severe pain when touched...

var. murrayana; the shrub
Shrub
A shrub or bush is distinguished from a tree by its multiple stems and shorter height, usually under 5–6 m tall. A large number of plants may become either shrubs or trees, depending on the growing conditions they experience...

s Abutilon listeri
Abutilon listeri
Abutilon listeri , commonly known as the Lantern Flower, is a tropical shrub in the Malvaceae or mallow family. It is endemic to Christmas Island, an Australian territory in the north-eastern Indian Ocean...

, Colubrina pedunculata
Colubrina pedunculata
Colubrina pedunculata is a shrub in the family Rhamnaceae. It is endemic to Christmas Island, an Australian territory in the north-eastern Indian Ocean. Its specific epithet comes from the Latin pedunculatus, referring to the long and conspicuous peduncle of the...

, Grewia insularis
Grewia insularis
Grewia insularis is a species of flowering plant in the Malvaceae, or mallow family, that is endemic to Christmas Island, an Australian territory in the north-eastern Indian Ocean. Its specific epithet is the Latin for insular, referring to its island location.-Description:Grewia insularis is a...

and Pandanus christmatensis
Pandanus christmatensis
Pandanus christmatensis is a dioecious tropical plant in the screwpine genus. It is endemic to Christmas Island, an Australian territory in the north-eastern Indian Ocean. The specific epithet, "christmatensis", comes from its native locality....

; the vine
Vine
A vine in the narrowest sense is the grapevine , but more generally it can refer to any plant with a growth habit of trailing or scandent, that is to say climbing, stems or runners...

s Hoya aldrichii
Hoya aldrichii
Hoya aldrichii , commonly known as the Christmas Island Waxvine is a species of flowering plant in the Apocynaceae or dogbane family. It is a vine that is endemic to Christmas Island, an Australian territory in the north-eastern Indian Ocean, where it is a common epiphyte in the shrublands of the...

and Zehneria alba
Zehneria alba
Zehneria alba is a species of flowering plant in the cucumber and gourd family Cucurbitaceae. It is endemic to Christmas Island, an Australian territory in the north-eastern Indian Ocean. The specific epithet is from the Latin albus , referring to the colour of the flowers.-Description:Zehneria...

; the herb
Herbaceous plant
A herbaceous plant is a plant that has leaves and stems that die down at the end of the growing season to the soil level. They have no persistent woody stem above ground...

s Asystasia alba
Asystasia alba
Asystasia alba is a species of tropical herb in the Acanthaceae family. It is endemic to Christmas Island, an Australian territory in the north-eastern Indian Ocean. Its specific epithet comes from the Latin alba , referring to the colour of its flowers.-Description:Asystasia alba is an erect...

, Dicliptera maclearii
Dicliptera maclearii
Dicliptera maclearii is a species of plant in the family Acanthaceae which is endemic to Christmas Island, an Australian territory in the north-eastern Indian Ocean...

and Peperomia rossii
Peperomia rossii
Peperomia rossii is a species of plant in the Piperaceae family. It is endemic to Christmas Island, an Australian territory in the north-eastern Indian Ocean...

; the grass
Grass
Grasses, or more technically graminoids, are monocotyledonous, usually herbaceous plants with narrow leaves growing from the base. They include the "true grasses", of the Poaceae family, as well as the sedges and the rushes . The true grasses include cereals, bamboo and the grasses of lawns ...

 Ischaemum nativitatis
Ischaemum nativitatis
Ischaemum nativitatis, commonly known as the Christmas Island Duck Beak, is a tropical grass in the Poaceae family. It is endemic to Christmas Island, an Australian territory in the north-eastern Indian Ocean...

; the fern
Fern
A fern is any one of a group of about 12,000 species of plants belonging to the botanical group known as Pteridophyta. Unlike mosses, they have xylem and phloem . They have stems, leaves, and roots like other vascular plants...

 Asplenium listeri
Asplenium listeri
Asplenium listeri, commonly known as the Christmas Island Spleenwort, is a species of fern in the Aspleniaceae family. It is endemic to Christmas Island, an Australian territory in the north-eastern Indian Ocean...

; and the orchids Brachypeza archytas
Brachypeza archytas
Brachypeza archytas, commonly known as the Sage Orchid, is an epiphytic orchid. It is endemic to Christmas Island, an Australian territory in the north-eastern Indian Ocean. Its specific epithet honours the Greek philosopher Archytas....

, Flickingeria nativitatis
Flickingeria nativitatis
Flickingeria nativitatis is an epiphytic orchid. It is endemic to Christmas Island, an Australian territory in the north-eastern Indian Ocean...

, Phreatia listeri
Phreatia listeri
Phreatia listeri is a species of epiphytic orchid. It is endemic to Christmas Island, an Australian territory in the north-eastern Indian Ocean. Its specific epithet honours British zoologist and plant collector Joseph Jackson Lister, who visited the island on HMS Egeria in...

and Zeuxine exilis
Zeuxine exilis
Zeuxine exilis, commonly known as Ridley’s Ground Orchid or Ridley’s Jewel Orchid, is a terrestrial orchid belonging to the subfamily Orchidoideae...

.

Fauna


Two species of native rats, the Maclear's
Maclear's Rat
The Maclear's Rat was a large rat which lived on Christmas Island in the Indian Ocean. Abundant, unfamiliar with and seemingly unafraid of humans, large numbers of the creatures emerged and foraged in all directions at night...

 and Bulldog Rat
Bulldog Rat
The Bulldog Rat was a species of rat endemic to the Christmas Island in the Indian Ocean. The rats lived on the higher hills and denser forests of the island. They had short tails and their backs were covered in a two centimetre thick layer of fat. They lived in small colonies, in burrows among...

, have become extinct since the island was settled. The endemic shrew
Christmas Island Shrew
The Christmas Island Shrew , also known as Christmas Island Musk-shrew is an extremely rare or possibly extinct shrew from Christmas Island...

 has not been seen since the mid 1980s and may be already extinct, and the Christmas Island Pipistrelle
Christmas Island Pipistrelle
The Christmas Island Pipistrelle is a species of vesper bat found only on Christmas Island, Australia.It is a small bat weighing around 3 to 4.5 grams. It has sometimes been considered synonymous with Pipistrellus tenuis; however, revisions of the genus based on baculum have identified...

, a small bat, is critically endangered and possibly also extinct.

The annual red crab
Christmas Island red crab
The Christmas Island red crab, Gecarcoidea natalis, is a species of land crab that is endemic to Christmas Island and the Cocos Islands in the Indian Ocean...

 mass migration (around 100 million animals) to the sea to spawn has been called one of the wonders of the natural world and takes place each year around November; after the start of the wet season
Wet season
The the wet season, or rainy season, is the time of year, covering one or more months, when most of the average annual rainfall in a region occurs. The term green season is also sometimes used as a euphemism by tourist authorities. Areas with wet seasons are dispersed across portions of the...

 and in synchronisation with the cycle of the moon
Moon
The Moon is Earth's only known natural satellite,There are a number of near-Earth asteroids including 3753 Cruithne that are co-orbital with Earth: their orbits bring them close to Earth for periods of time but then alter in the long term . These are quasi-satellites and not true moons. For more...

.

The land crabs and sea birds are the most noticeable animals on the island. Twenty terrestrial and intertidal species of crab (of which thirteen are regarded as true land crabs, only dependent on the ocean for larval development) have been described. Robber crabs, known elsewhere as coconut crab
Coconut crab
The coconut crab, Birgus latro, is a species of terrestrial hermit crab, also known as the robber crab or palm thief. It is the largest land-living arthropod in the world, and is probably at the upper size limit of terrestrial animals with exoskeletons in today's atmosphere at a weight of up to...

s, also exist in large numbers on the island.

Christmas Island is a focal point for sea birds of various species. Eight species or subspecies
Subspecies
Subspecies in biological classification, is either a taxonomic rank subordinate to species, ora taxonomic unit in that rank . A subspecies cannot be recognized in isolation: a species will either be recognized as having no subspecies at all or two or more, never just one...

 of sea birds nest on the island. The most numerous is the Red-footed Booby
Red-footed Booby
The Red-footed Booby, Sula sula, is a large seabird of the booby family, Sulidae. As suggested by the name, adults always have red feet, but the colour of the plumage varies. They are powerful and agile fliers, but they are clumsy in takeoffs and landings...

 that nests in colonies, in trees, on many parts of the shore terrace. The widespread Brown Booby
Brown Booby
The Brown Booby is a large seabird of the booby family, Sulidae. The adult brown booby reaches about in length. Its head and upper body are covered in dark brown, with the remainder being a contrasting white. The juvenile form is gray-brown with darkening on the head, wings and tail...

 nests on the ground near the edge of the seacliff and inland cliffs. Abbott's Booby
Abbott's Booby
Abbott’s Booby is a large endangered seabird of the gannet family, Sulidae. Found normally only on and around Christmas Island Abbott’s Booby (Papasula abbotti) is a large endangered seabird of the gannet family, Sulidae. Found normally only on and around Christmas Island Abbott’s Booby (Papasula...

 (listed as endangered) nests on tall emergent trees of the western, northern and southern plateau rainforest. The Christmas Island forest is the only nesting habitat of the Abbott's Booby left in the world. The endemic
Endemic (ecology)
Endemism is the ecological state of being unique to a defined geographic location, such as an island, nation or other defined zone, or habitat type; organisms that are indigenous to a place are not endemic to it if they are also found elsewhere. For example, all species of lemur are endemic to the...

 Christmas Island Frigatebird
Christmas Island Frigatebird
The Christmas Frigatebird or Christmas Island Frigatebird is a frigatebird endemic to the Christmas Islands in the Indian Ocean...

 (listed as endangered) has nesting areas on the north-eastern shore terraces and the more widespread Great Frigatebird
Great Frigatebird
The Great Frigatebird is a large dispersive seabird in the frigatebird family. Major nesting populations are found in the Pacific and Indian Oceans, as well as a population in the South Atlantic....

s nest in semi-deciduous trees on the shore terrace with the greatest concentrations being in the North West and South Point areas. The Common Noddy and two species of bosuns or tropicbird
Tropicbird
Tropicbirds are a family, Phaethontidae, of tropical pelagic seabirds now classified in their own order Phaethontiformes. Their relationship to other living birds is unclear, and they appear to have no close relatives. There are three species in one genus, Phaethon...

s, with their brilliant gold or silver plumage and distinctive streamer tail feathers, also nest on the island.

Of the ten native land birds and shorebirds, seven are endemic species or subspecies. This includes the Christmas Island Thrush
Christmas Island Thrush
The Christmas Island Thrush , ia a subspecies of the Island Thrush . It is endemic to Christmas Island, an Australian territory in the Indian Ocean.-Description:...

, and the Christmas Island Imperial-pigeon
Christmas Island Imperial-pigeon
The Christmas Imperial Pigeon, , is a large pigeon, mainly dark grey in colour with an iridescent sheen.-Distribution and habitat:...

. Some 86 migrant bird species have been recorded as visitors to the Island.

Telecommunications


Telephone services are provided by Telstra
Telstra
Telstra Corporation Limited is an Australian telecommunications and media company, building and operating telecommunications networks and marketing voice, mobile, internet access and pay television products and services....

 and are a part of the Australian network with the same prefix as Western Australia (08). A GSM mobile telephone system replaced the old analogue network in February 2005. Phone reception is at its best on the roofs of the buildings. Four free-to-air television stations from Australia are broadcast (ABC, SBS, GWN and WIN) in the same time-zone as Perth. Radio broadcasts from Australia include ABC Radio National
Radio National
ABC Radio National is an Australia-wide non-commercial radio network run by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.Radio National broadcasts national programming in areas that include news and current affairs, the arts, social issues, science, drama and comedy...

, ABC Kimberley
ABC Kimberley
ABC Kimberley is an ABC Local Radio station based in Broome, Western Australia, owned by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Its callsign is 6BE and the station transmits on AM.-History:...

, Triple J
Triple J
triple j is a nationally networked Australian radio station intended to appeal to listeners between the ages of 18 and 30. The government-funded station is a division of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation...

 and Red FM
Red FM (Australia)
Red FM ' is a commercial radio network covering the remote areas of Western Australia. Formerly only broadcasting to mine sites, Red FM targets the 18–39 listener with its rock and new music format.-History:...

. All services are provided by satellite links from the mainland. Broadband internet became available to subscribers in urban areas in mid 2005 through the local internet service provider, CIIA
Christmas Island Internet Administration
Christmas Island Internet Administration Limited is a community-owned non-profit Christmas Island company, the objects of which are to be trustee and policy-setting body for the .cx ccTLD, and administrator of the Christmas Island Information Economy Development Trust...

 (formerly dotCX).

Christmas Island, due to its close proximity to Australia's northern neighbours, falls within many of the more 'interesting' satellite footprints throughout the region. This results in ideal conditions for receiving various Asian broadcasts which locals sometimes prefer to the West Australian provided content. Additionally, ionospheric conditions usually bode well for many of the more terrestrial radio transmissions – HF
High frequency
High frequency radio frequencies are between 3 and 30 MHz. Also known as the decameter band or decameter wave as the wavelengths range from one to ten decameters . Frequencies immediately below HF are denoted Medium-frequency , and the next higher frequencies are known as Very high frequency...

 right up through VHF
Very high frequency
Very high frequency is the radio frequency range from 30 MHz to 300 MHz. Frequencies immediately below VHF are denoted High frequency , and the next higher frequencies are known as Ultra high frequency...

 and sometimes in to UHF
Ultra high frequency
Ultra-High Frequency designates the ITU Radio frequency range of electromagnetic waves between 300 MHz and 3 GHz , also known as the decimetre band or decimetre wave as the wavelengths range from one to ten decimetres...

. The island plays home to a small array of radio equipment that, evidently, spans a good chunk of the usable spectrum. A variety of government owned and operated antenna systems are employed on the island to take advantage of this.

Container port


A container port exists at Flying Fish Cove with an alternative container unloading point to the south of the island at Norris Point for use during the December to March 'swell season" of seasonal rough seas.

Railways


An 18 km standard gauge
Standard gauge
The standard gauge is a widely-used track gauge . Approximately 60% of the world's existing railway lines are built to this gauge...

 railway from Flying Fish Cove to the phosphate mine was constructed in 1914. It was closed in December 1987, when the Australian Government closed the mine, but remains largely intact. Because of its very small population size, Christmas Island has the longest railway per capita in the world, more than 100 times of the average length.

Air travel


There are three weekly flights into Christmas Island Airport
Christmas Island Airport
Christmas Island Airport is an airport located on Christmas Island, a territory of Australia in the Indian Ocean. The island is located northwest of the Western Australian city of Perth, south of the Indonesian capital, Jakarta, and east-northeast of the Cocos Islands.Although located on...

 from Perth, Western Australia (via RAAF Learmonth
RAAF Learmonth
RAAF Learmonth, also known as Learmonth Airport , is a joint use Royal Australian Air Force base and civil airport. It is located near the town of Exmouth on the north-west coast of Western Australia. As an RAAF base, Learmonth is one of the RAAF's three 'bare bases'...

) and a weekly charter flight from Malaysia by Malaysia Airlines
Malaysia Airlines
Malaysian Airline System Berhad , DBA Malaysia Airlines , is the government-owned flag carrier of Malaysia. Malaysia Airlines operates flights from its home base, Kuala Lumpur International Airport, and its eastern hub in Kota Kinabalu. It has its headquarters on the grounds of Sultan Abdul Aziz...

.

Road transport


There is a new recreation centre at Phosphate Hill operated by the Shire of Christmas Island. There is also a taxi service. The road network covers most of the island and is generally good quality, although four wheel drive vehicles are needed to access some more distant parts of the rain forest or the more isolated beaches, which are only accessible by rough dirt roads.

Education


The island-operated crèche
Day care
Child care or day care is care of a child during the day by a person other than the child's legal guardians, typically performed by someone outside the child's immediate family...

 is located in the Recreation Centre. Christmas Island District High School
Christmas Island District High School
Christmas Island District High School is a school located in Christmas Island, a territory of Australia. The school serves approximately 400 students from Kindergarten through to Year 12...

, catering for students in grades P-10 is run by the Australian Education Department. Students wishing to complete the last two years of high school or university education must do so on mainland Australia.

The island has one public library.

See also


Further reading

  • Jan Adams and Marg Neale, 1993, Christmas Island – The Early Years – 1888–1958. Published by Bruce Neale. 96 pages including many b&w photographs. ISBN 0-646-14894-X
  • Dr Gerald R. Allen and Roger C. Steene, 1998, Fishes of Christmas Island. Published by the Christmas Island Natural History Association. 197 pages including many photographs and plates. ISBN 0-9591210-1-3. [Note: A second, revised, edition was published 2007 with a third author included, Max Orchard. ISBN 9780959121087]
  • Anonymous, 1984, Christmas Island, Indian Ocean – a Unique Island. Published by a committee of present and former employees of the phosphate mining company. 60 pages including colour photographs.
  • D. Bosman (Editor), 1993, Christmas Island Police – 1958–1983. Published by editor. 112 pages including many photographs.
  • Cyril Ayris, 1993, Tai Ko Seng – Gordon Bennett of Christmas Island. Published by the Gordon Bennett Educational Foundation. 263 pages including photographs. ISBN 0-646-15483-4
  • CIA World Factbook 2002
  • Charles. W. Andrews, A Description of Christmas Island (Indian Ocean). Geographical Journal, 13(1), 17–35 (1899).
  • Charles W. Andrews, A Monograph of Christmas Island, London,1900.
  • H.S. Gray, 1981, Christmas Island Naturally. Published by author. 133 pages including many colour photographs. ISBN 0-9594105-0-3
  • John Hicks, Holger Rumpff and Hugh Yorkston, 1984, Christmas Crabs. Published by the Christmas Island Natural History Association. 76 pages including colour photographs. ISBN 0-9591210-0-5
  • National Library of Australia, The Indian Ocean: a select bibliography. 1979 ISBN 0-642-99150-2
  • Margaret Neale, 1988, We were the Christmas Islanders. Published by Bruce Neale. 207 pages including many b&w photographs. ISBN 0-7316-4158-2/0-7316-4157-4.
  • W. J. L. Wharton, Account of Christmas Island, Indian Ocean. Proceedings of the Royal Geographical Society and Monthly Record of Geography, 10 (10), 613–624 (1888).
  • Les Waters, 1983, The Union of Christmas Island Workers. Published by Allen & Unwin (1992 edition), St Leonards, NSW. 170 pages including b&w photographs.

External links