|Official Country Name:||Norfolk Island|
Covering only 14 square miles, Norfolk Island is located in the South Pacific Ocean, about 1,000 miles northeast of Sydney, Australia. It was discovered in 1774 by British explorer James Cook and, from 1788 to 1856, the island was used as a penal settlement for convicts from Australia. In 1856 the island was turned over to the Pitcairners. The Pitcairners started the first free settlement, and the people living on Norfolk Island today are their descendants.
According to a 1996 census, the permanent population is 1,470 people. Tourism is the main source of income, but people also grow bananas, citrus fruits, and vegetables.
Norfolk Island was part of the colonies of New South Wales of Australia. Queen Victoria of England ordered that it be a separate colony of the British Crown between 1856 and 1896, when the Pitcairners governed it. The Pitcairners believed in equal suffrage, and they were the first people ever to afford women the vote. In 1979, the Norfolk Island Act established a legislative assembly and executive council to handle local government matters. The act preserved Australia's overall responsibility for the island.
Norfolk Island Central School teaches grades K-12. Enrollments were expected to be 320 K-12 students in the year 2001. The school also has 20 teachers; there are eight infant through primary teachers, including two executive teachers and two release face-to-face teachers. The remaining 12 teachers are secondary teachers, including 1 head teacher. A counselor is also employed for K-8 students.
Secondary students undertake subjects such as English, math, science, history, and geography. Electives include woodworking, metalworking, food technology, textiles and design, business studies, and sports. The school has 2 school buses, which were donated by the parents and citizens.
Greenwich University moved to Norfolk Island in 1998. It is a small graduate school with high academic standards in teaching, scholarship, and research that welcomes students from all countries of the world.
Norfolk Island is very small; therefore, its education system is just big enough to educate its modest population, though Greenwich University has brought the island some notice from the outside world. Unfortunately, the island was settled with turmoil, and Norfolk Islanders still battle to regain full self-government from Australia.
Census of Population and Housing. "Administration of Norfolk Island Census," 1996. Available from www.nf/census/sectiona.html.
Greenwich University, January 2001. Available from http://www.university.edu.nf.
Norfolk Island Central School, February 2001. Available from http://www.school.edu.nf.
|Official Country Name:||Norfolk Island|
|Region (Map name):||Oceania|
Named in honor of a duchess, Norfolk Island's history is far from regal. Claimed by the British in 1774, colonists twice tried to establish a penal colony here with no success. By 1856, the tropical, South Pacific island had become home to mutineers from the infamous Her Majesty's Armed Vessel Bounty. Their descendants still live on the island today. The official language is English, but many speak a local Norfolk dialect, a mixture of eighteenth century English and ancient Tahitian. The population is approximately 1,900. Norfolk Island is a territory of Australia. Its chief of state is the English monarch, represented locally by an Administer chosen by the Governor General of Australia. An Assembly President and Chief Minister presides over the Legislative Assembly, a nine-member unicameral body. Tourism is the largest segment of the economy, and the island caters to tourists from Australia and New Zealand.
Norfolk Island enjoys freedom of speech and press under British and Australian law. There is no daily newspaper. A weekly, The Norfolk Islander, appears every Saturday and prints in English. Founded in 1965, its circulation is 1,250. The Chief Administrative Office also publishes an English-language weekly called the Norfolk Island Government Gazette, which provides government news and information.
There are three FM radio stations serving 2,500 radios. One television station broadcasts locally to 1,200 televisions. There are two Internet service providers.
"CocoNET Wireless," The University of Queensland, Australia (1995). Available from http://www.uq.edu.au.
"Norfolk Island," CIA World Fact Book (2001). Available from http://www.cia.gov.
"Norfolk Island Media," Norfolk Island (2002). Available from http://www.norfolkisland.gov.nf.
Jenny B. Davis
Norfolk Island (nôr´fək), officially Territory of Norfolk Island, island (2005 est. pop. 1,800), 13 sq mi (34 sq km), South Pacific, a territory of Australia, c.1,035 mi (1,670 km) NE of Sydney. Its capital is Kingston. Now a resort, Norfolk has luxuriant vegetation and is known for its
trees, which are not true pines but evergreens of the araucaria family (see monkey-puzzle tree).
Explored in 1774 by Capt. James Cook, the then-uninhabited island (there had been an earlier Polynesian settlement) was claimed by Great Britain in the hope that the trees would provide masts for the navy. When the wood proved unsatisfactory, Norfolk was made into a prison island (1788–1855). In 1856 the prisoners were removed and some of the descendants of the Bounty mutineers were moved to Norfolk from Pitcairn Island. There are also Australians, New Zealanders, and Polynesians living on the island. Most of the people belong to the Anglican, Roman Catholic, or other Christian churches. English is the official language, but Norfolk, a mixture of 18th cent. English and ancient Tahitian, is also spoken.
Norfolk Island was annexed to Tasmania in 1844, became a dependency of New South Wales in 1896, and was transferred to the Commonwealth of Australia in 1913. Many of the old prison colony buildings have been restored and contribute to the island's main industry, tourism. Postage stamps and seeds of the Norfolk Island and Kentia palms are important exports. There are natural gas deposits south of the island.
The island was governed under the Norfolk Island Act of 1979, which granted limited self-rule to the territory, established a legislative assembly, and gave the island federal- and state-level powers. Financial problems led to Australian legislation in 2015 ending the island's autonomy and reducing it to local administrative status.
See study by M. Hoare (1971).