Australia-Oceania :: Christmas Island
(territory of Australia)

Introduction ::Christmas Island

    Named in 1643 for the day of its discovery, the island was annexed and settlement began by the UK in 1888 with the discovery of the island's phosphate deposits. Following the Second World War, Christmas Island came under the jurisdiction of the new British Colony of Singapore. The island existed as a separate Crown colony from 1 January 1958 to 1 October 1958 when its transfer to Australian jurisdiction was finalized. That date is still celebrated on the first Monday in October as Territory Day. Almost two-thirds of the island has been declared a national park.

Geography ::Christmas Island

People and Society ::Christmas Island

Government ::Christmas Island

    conventional long form: Territory of Christmas Island
    conventional short form: Christmas Island
    non-self governing territory of Australia; administered from Canberra by the Department of Regional Australia, Local Government, Arts and Sport
    name: The Settlement
    geographic coordinates: 10 25 S, 105 43 E
    time difference: UTC+7 (12 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
    none (territory of Australia)
    none (territory of Australia)
    Australia Day, 26 January (1788)
    Christmas Island Act 1958-59 (1 October 1958); amended by Territories Law Reform Act 1992
    legal system is under the authority of the governor general of Australia and Australian law
    18 years of age
    chief of state: Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952) represented by the Australian governor general
    head of government: Administrator Jon STANHOPE (since 5 October 2012)
    elections: the monarchy is hereditary; governor general appointed by the monarch on the recommendation of the Australian prime minister; administrator appointed by the governor general of Australia for a two-year term and represents the monarch and Australia
    unicameral Christmas Island Shire Council (9 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve four-year terms)
    elections: held every two years with half the members standing for election; last held In 2011 (next to be held in 2013)
    election results: percent of vote - NA; seats - independents 9
    highest court(s): under the terms of the Territorial Law Reform Act 1992, Western Australia provides court services as needed for the island including the Supreme Court and subordinate courts (District Court, Magistrate Court, Family Court, Children's Court, and Coroners' Court)
    judge selection and term of office:
    subordinate courts:
    none (territory of Australia)
    none (territory of Australia)
    territorial flag; divided diagonally from upper hoist to lower fly; the upper triangle is green with a yellow image of the Golden Bosun Bird superimposed; the lower triangle is blue with the Southern Cross constellation, representing Australia, superimposed; a centered yellow disk displays a green map of the island
    note: the flag of Australia is used for official purposes
    golden bosun bird
    note: as a territory of Australia, "Advance Australia Fair" remains official as the national anthem, while "God Save the Queen" serves as the royal anthem (see Australia)

Economy ::Christmas Island

Communications ::Christmas Island

    general assessment: service provided by the Australian network
    domestic: GSM mobile-cellular telephone service replaced older analog system in February 2005
    international: country code - 61-8; satellite earth station - 1 (Intelsat provides telephone and telex service) (2005)
    1 community radio station; satellite broadcasts of several Australian radio and TV stations (2009)
    3,028 (2012)
    country comparison to the world: 155
    464 (2001)
    country comparison to the world: 217

Transportation ::Christmas Island