Australian Indian Ocean Territories

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Australian Indian Ocean Territories
Administrative unit
Map of Christmas Island (left) and the Cocos (Keeling) Islands. Not to the same scale.
 • AdministratorFarzian Zainal
 • Total149 km2 (58 sq mi)
 • Total2,387
 • Density16/km2 (41/sq mi)

The Australian Indian Ocean Territories is the name since 1995 of an administrative unit under the Australian Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development, Communications and the Arts, consisting of two island groups in the Indian Ocean under Australian sovereignty:

Each of these island components has its own shire council: the Shire of Christmas Island and the Shire of Cocos.

The administrative unit does not have jurisdiction over the uninhabited Ashmore and Cartier Islands and Heard Island and McDonald Islands, despite these territories lying within the Indian Ocean.



In 2004 a review of the territories was made.[1]

In 2012 the administration was reviewed by Australian parliamentary visits and enquiry.[2]

Farzian Zainal is a community representative for, and the Treasurer of, the Indian Ocean Territories Regional Development Organisation, which is administered by the Australian government.[3][4][5]


Notable past administrators, from left to right: Evan Williams, Jon Stanhope, Barry Haase, and Natasha Griggs
No. Name Political party Took office Left office
1 Danny Ambrose Gillespie 1 July 1994 30 June 1996
2 Ron Harvey 1 October 1997 30 October 1998
3 Bill Taylor Liberal 4 February 1999 30 July 2003
4 Evan Williams 1 November 2003 31 October 2005
5 Neil Lucas Liberal 30 January 2006 22 February 2008
6 Brian Lacy 5 October 2009 5 October 2012
7 Jon Stanhope Labor 5 October 2012 5 October 2014
8 Barry Haase Liberal 6 October 2014 4 October 2017
9 Natasha Griggs Liberal 5 October 2017 4 October 2022
Sarah Vandenbroek (acting) 4 October 2022 18 June 2023
10 Farzian Zainal 19 June 2023[6]


  1. ^ Joint Standing Committee on the National Capital and External Territories (2004), Indian Ocean Territories: review of the annual reports of the Department of Transport and Regional Services and the Department of the Environment and Heritage, Parliament of the Commonwealth of Australia, ISBN 978-0-642-78486-5
  2. ^ Report of the visit to the Indian Ocean Territories, 21-25 October 2012: review of the Department of Regional Development, Regional Australia and Local Government Annual Report 2010-11, Canberra Joint Standing Committee of the National Capital and External Territories, 2013, ISBN 978-1-74366-115-4
  3. ^ "About us". Indian Ocean Territories. Retrieved 19 October 2021.
  4. ^ Department of Infrastructure, Transport (22 May 2021). "Appointment of new Regional Development Organisation members". Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications, Australian Government. Retrieved 19 October 2021.
  5. ^ Our Cocos (Keeling) Islands: 2030 STRATEGIC PLAN (PDF). Indian Ocean Territories Regional Development Organisation. 2019.
  6. ^ "Indian Ocean Territories Administrator appointment". Ministers for Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development, Communications and the Arts. Retrieved 21 June 2023.

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