Friday, June 19, 2015

On Sunday 14 June at 10am, a small but proud group of athletes and managers walked from the Markets to Rumours to proudly recognise their upcoming representative duties in Papua New Guinea at the South Pacific Games.  The huge crowd clapped and cheered as the team walked past.


The team includes: Athletics Brianna Stephens and her manager, Rose Evans; Golf Shane Evans, Beau Magri, Scott Greenwood, Tom Greenwood and Manager, Dave Magri; Lawn Bowl, Tess Evans, Ryan Dixon, Matt Bigg, Trev Gow, Gary Bigg, Phil Jones and Manager, Rob Dixon; Shooting Doug Creek Kevin Coulter and Chief de mission is Jac Grundy.

The team will leave Norfolk Island Tuesday July 7 and most member will be away for about three weeks

                                                                   Lawn Bowls                       Shooting team

NORFOLK ISLAND - THE END OF SELF GOVERNMENT ... by Constitution Education Fund Australia 

With self-governance of Norfolk Island about to come to an end we thought it was a great opportunity to look at the interesting Constitutional arrangements of the Island.

A long history

Just six weeks after Botany Bay was settled by the British the first ships arrived at Norfolk Island to claim it as an auxiliary settlement of the colony of New South Wales. A small amount of settlers and convicts occupied the Island.

By 1790 it had become a penal colony where shipping masts were constructed using the famously tall and straight Norfolk Pines. By 1825, because of its inaccessibility Norfolk Island had become a penitentiary for misbehaving convicts. In 1844 it was transferred to the Colony of Van Diemen’s Land and by 1855 it was closed as a penal colony.

At this time the inhabitants of Pitcairn Islands were beginning to request the English government find a new location for them as the resources of the Pitcairn Islands were in decline. These people were the descendants of British subjects that had orchestrated the Mutiny on the Bounty in 1789 and had a very colourful history. They were settled on Norfolk Island in 1856 and were met by the H.M.S. Juno with a statement from the Governor of NSW which outlined the occupancy.

A quick history of the Pitcairn Islanders

On 28 April 1789, some 1,300 miles west of Tahiti the Mutiny of the Bounty occurred. William Bligh and his crew had been sent to Tahiti to collect breadfruit and transport the cargo back to the West Indies. There is some dispute as to whether the crew of the ship were mistreated by Bligh or whether they preferred the idyllic lifestyle of Tahiti, but on the way back to the West Indies the crew Mutinied. They set Bligh and a small number of crew loyal to him afloat in a small boat and took control of the Ship “Bounty”. The Mutineers sailed back to Tahiti, where they enticed some men and women onto the Bounty and then quickly set sail to the Pitcairn Islands to prevent the Tahitians leaving and to avoid detection by the English authorities. The Bounty was burned and sunk off the Pitcairn Islands and the mutineers and the Tahitians began a life here.

It wasn’t until 1808 that the first ship arrived on the Pitcairn Islands to discover the inhabitants and in 1837 the Pitcairn Islands were incorporated into the British Empire. By 1855 the population had grown to such an extent that the Islands were beginning to become uninhabitable. It was at this point that the British government offered to resettle the Pitcairners on Norfolk Island. The Pitcairn Islanders have remained on Norfolk Island until this day.

What happened at settlement of the Pitcairn Islanders?

In 1854, just prior to the Pitcairners settlement on Norfolk Island the British Government had recommended transferring Norfolk Island to the colony of NSW. However by 1856 it had been recommended that Norfolk Island should not form part of any adjacent colonies, but should be kept altogether distinct from and independent of them. The instructions received back from the British Government later that year were that Norfolk Island was a distinct and separate colony that was placed under the jurisdiction of the Governor of New South Wales.

The Pitcairners that arrived on the Island believed that the Crown had granted Norfolk Island to them in 1856 and this sentiment continues today.

By the mid 1890’s there was discussion about what to do about Norfolk Island. As a newspaper article from the time outlined:

The British Government wants New South Wales to take over the government of Norfolk Island; New South Wales appears to be doubtful whether she should or not; Norfolk Island itself wants to be left alone, and New Zealand comes in as a claimant to do that which England would have done by the mother colony. 

In 1897 Norfolk Island was transferred to NSW on the request of the British Government, although the legislative powers of Norfolk Island remained separate. A proclamation was issued:

"And whereas by an Order in Council dated the fifteenth day of January,1897, made in pursuance of the said last-mentioned Act, Her late Majesty, after reciting that it was expedient that other provision should be made for the government of Norfolk Island, and that, in prospect of the future annexation of Norfolk Island to the Colony of New South Wales, or to any Federal body of which that colony might thereafter form part, in the meantime the affairs of Norfolk Island should be administered by the Governor of New South Wales, as therein provided, was pleased to revoke the said Order in Council of the twenty-fourth day of June, one thousand eight hundred and fifty-six, and to order that the affairs of Norfolk Island should be thenceforth, and until further order should be made in that behalf by Her Majesty, be administered by the Governor and Commander-in-Chief for the time being of the Colony of New South Wales and its dependencies.

In November of that year all of the laws in force were repealed and a new set of 23 laws were proclaimed. A council of 12 members was elected with responsibility of road maintenance and public reserves. The Pitcairners opposed this change and sent a delegation to Sydney to protest.

Then in October of 1900 by an Order in Council the Governor of the State of NSW was to administer the affairs of Norfolk Island in lieu of the Governor of the former Colony of NSW. By this time the Commonwealth of Australia Constitution Act 1900 had passed and was to come into effect on 1 January 1901

In 1903 an Executive Council was set up that included two elected representatives and four members appointed by the Governor. It was around this time that the Sir Henry Rawson, the Governor of NSW and Norfolk Island advised the Islanders that as a dependency of NSW they had to follow NSW laws. He pointed out that only the Commonwealth had the power to make different laws for different communities and if the residents of Norfolk Island would like their own laws they would need to consider being annexed by the Commonwealth of Australia.

Becoming an external territory

By 1913 the financial system of Norfolk Island was beginning to struggle. A newspaper article from the time outlines this struggle:

The financial resources were so limited on Norfolk Island that in April of 1913 the Deputy Administrator stated that he did not desire to continue in office unless he received regular remuneration. For some years he had no salary attached to his position but on occasion a bonus had been paid.

In December of 1913 The Norfolk Island Act was passed to provide for the acceptance of Norfolk Island as a Territory under the authority of the Commonwealth. The preamble of this Act states:

And whereas the Parliament of the Commonwealth is willing that Norfolk Island should be placed under the authority of, and accepted as a Territory by, the Commonwealth:

And whereas by the Constitution it is provided that the Parliament, may make laws for the Government of any Territory placed by the King under the authority of and accepted by the Commonwealth: Constitution s. 122.

On 1 July 1914 Norfolk Island became an external territory of the Commonwealth of Australia under section 122 of the Constitution.

Did the residents of Norfolk Island get any say in this decision?

Many of the inhabitants of Norfolk Island are of the view that they never joined the Commonwealth of Australia. However, the Australian High Court and Federal Government have taken the view that Norfolk Island is an external territory of Australia.

The only decision the Pitcairners ever made was to leave the Pitcairn Islands and move to Norfolk Island. Since this time the Government arrangements have been made by the Monarch acting on the advice of the British Government, the NSW Government and the Australian Federal Government.

After becoming an external territory

In the decades after becoming an external territory of Australia, Norfolk Island moved closer towards self-governance and in 1979 gain full self-governance with the passing of the Norfolk Island Act 1979. Any laws made by the federal government do not apply on Norfolk Island, unless the passing Act specifically states this.

One of Norfolk Island’s primary industries is tourism and since the global financial crisis the economy has struggled with the number of tourists halving. The Islanders pay no income tax and the Norfolk Island government raises funds with a GST of 12%.

In 2010 the Chief Minister of Norfolk Island announced that the island would voluntarily surrender self-government in return for a bailout of its debts. Much of the infrastructure on the island has not been upgraded since 1979 and the federal government has indicated that by surrendering self-governance they will receive these needed upgrades.

The Norfolk Islanders will be required to pay business and income tax in and they will be able to receive welfare and medicare benefits. To make these changes the Norfolk Island Act 1979 will be updated and the territory of Norfolk Island will become a regional council.

As expected, not all of the Islanders agree with the proposal to end self-government are calling for a referendum to be put to the people. Some 700 residents (out of a total of 1800) have signed a petition to the federal government demanding locals be given more input in the process.

Nevertheless, the new arrangements will come into effect on 1 July 2016.

Some interesting facts about Norfolk Island

38% of Norfolk Islanders are descendants of the Pitcairn Islanders who settled in 1856.

Norfolk Islanders do not have a dedicated electorate on the Island. They are able to vote in Federal elections (although it is not compulsory) by choosing an electorate in Australia that they have some connection to, or if they have no connection they can choose the Division of Canberra in the Australian Capital Territory, or the Division of Solomon in the Northern Territory.

Norfolk Island has competed in each of the Commonwealth games since 1986 and has won one bronze medal for bowling in 1994

Norfolk Island have their own postal system and stamps. Stamps bought on Norfolk Island cannot be used in Australia and vice-versa.

There was a royal commission into matters relating to Norfolk Island in 1976 which examined their constitutional status

RELAY FOR LIFE - SATURDAY 13TH JUNE 2015 ... by Betty Matthews

Last Saturday 13th June there was a fantastic community fundraiser held at the Norfolk Island Central School.

Once again the generosity of the Norfolk Islanders was shown, as there were so many supporting this very important annual event to raise funds for the Cancer Society.  Approximately 250 community members walked for the great cause.

The event started with an opening ceremony at 12:30pm and finished after dark with the final lap at 8:25pm. The final lap was walked by the committee members and the cancer survivors.  They walked in the reverse direction, to say thank you to all of the participants.

Hope Bags were sold for $2 and message of hope was written on them.  A message of love, support and or encouragement for a friend, family member or loved one you have known who died from cancer or going through treatment.

The HOPE CEREMONY started at 5.30 pm, the HOPE BAGS with candles were placed on the hillside and the photos I saw on Facebook of the event looked very moving.

I was able to stop at the school after work in the late afternoon and wished I had stayed to the end of the event.

Thank you to the committee, organisers, walkers, sponsors, food tents and helpers, there were so many involved. Local entertainers also performed until after dark.

Over $4,000 has been raised so far and they were still counting.  Thank you everyone for the donations.

You can still donate to any team or participant to help their fundraising efforts.

The Relay for Life Oath

In the name of all Relay for Life participants, I confirm that we are here today to celebrate the loves of cancer survivors, to support those fighting cancer, and to honour those we have lost. 

Our commitment will be symbolised in every step we take, each and every one moving us nearer to our goal – the goal of a cancer free world for future generations. 

I now declare the Norfolk Island Relay for Life 2015 officially open!

Well done Yorlie

The Relay for Life was open with a speech from Tracey Sweeney who told us about her experence with Cancer. Here is a copy of her speech and poem she wrote.

Tracey Sweeney open the Relay for life with a very touching speech, telling us about her journey with Cancer. Before you read plesase make sure you have a box of tissues with you

Good evening everyone, my name is Tracey and I am honoured to be conducting the 2015  Relay For Life Candlelight Ceremony."There are three key elements of Relay For Life: celebration, remember and fight back.

In the Survivors and Carers Walk today, we have celebrated life and the courage of those living with cancer.

Now, candle tributes with personal messages line the track, in  a symbolic shape of hope. These tributes are in support of those living with cancer and in memory of loved ones lost. They personalise cancer and remind us that every step we take is lighting the way to a cure.  With personal messages of love, remembrance, encouragement and hope, they give a warm glow to inspire Relay participants throughout the night.  Even in our darkest hours there is light and hope. The tributes will continue to burn throughout the night until our closing ceremony later at 8:30pm. 


Looked up ; WIKIPEDIA:

Hope is an optimistic attitude of mind based on an expectation of positive outcomes related to events and circumstances in one's life or the world at large.[1] As a verb, its definitions include: "expect with confidence" and "to cherish a desire with anticipation".[2]

I am a survivor ; 3 years. It was 2012  the Bounty Day weekend  when I found a lump.  I saw the Dr here and was advised to see a specialist in Brisbane and get a mammogram . It was from that that I was diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer, a whirlwind journey that lasted 10 days from my Diagnosis to the surgery; then ongoing treatment for 18 months.  It all happened so fast ,  but knew it had to be done, I chose a mastectomy to give me hope at a bigger chance at life, a hope that it would not come back in my breast if I removed the breast entirely.  To give me a hope and chance to see my son graduate  and one day get married  then to see my grandchildren.  But to see my husband and family go through it was tough, they suffered the most I think. With the uncertainty. I went through 6 rounds of chemotherapy, and 18 months of a drug called Herceptin. I chose to remain on the Island and travel back for my treatments because we love Norfolk Island so much and love the support we have here. We hope to be here a long time and hope to see our Island flourish.

People said I was positive, strong and upbeat, confident throughout my cancer journey, I was hopeful and happy, never negative. I was always optimistic, but thats beaucase my specialists and family and friends were also optimistic. I never gave up, I always had  hope that I would survive. You hope you will get through it, that word HOPE is a part of your journey. I hope I am here another 40 or so more years to see the wonders of life and hope that a cure is found soon for cancer, it effects so many of us and without Relay for Life and your support and donations, the research for a cure would not be possible so thank you for

today, thank you for coming, thank you for your love, kindness and support to me and my family during my cancer journey.

So please write messages of hope and encouragement for your friends, family and loved ones you have lost along the way, and for those who are perhaps going through the journey now, messages of hope to know that they will get through it and survive like I have. Like Archie Bigg, Melissa Snel, Lurleen, Cheryl Snel, Susan Godfrey, people whom I have come to know through my cancer journey and there are others who all gave me messages of hope, love, kindness and loads of encouragement along the way. So I think today and tonight we have all shared the love, laughed along the way and now its time to hope that we will find a cure and we will survive.

AND remember to do a self breast examination at least once a month, any abnormalities please see your doctor or seek help. The hospital is currently running a Womens wellness programme and I recommend you go to it and its funded by the Lions Arthurs Vale and Rotary Club. On a personal note, I would like to thank my husband Eric, my son Liam for getting me through the 18 months of travel on and off Norfolk for my treatment in 2012 to 2013;to  my wonderful parents in Brisbane who took me to each and every appointment for 18 mths, to my sister  Paula, in Canada who skyped or texted me at every treatment / to my friends and family in Brisbane and NZ and friends here on Norfolk Island without all your love and support I would not have gotten through it, without your hope!  I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Tracey's HOPE Poem


Recall a time alone,

when you called out a name;

but there was no encouragement

and nobody came.

Simply light a candle…

feel the comfort in its glow.

Soon you’ll sense a ‘Presence’

and your loneliness will go.

Refresh yourself each day…

within the candle’s ray.

Use the ‘Light’ it sheds on you…

to chase darkness away.

Give yourself a moment,

in a place where you’re apart.

Surrender in the solitude…

the burdens of your heart.

Peacefulness will follow,

bringing harmony to heal.

Light a candle as a symbol –

of a ‘Presence’ which is real


I often wonder what is under the ground when I am down at Kingston.  There must be so many treasures from Norfolk Island’s historic past, from the early Polynesian Period or the First European settlements of the First and Second Convict – Penal Settlements.

On 13th June, Saturday morning, there was excitement at Kingston as workman in the Blacksmith Compound uncovered two blacksmith pits with interesting artefacts from the second convict settlement period when the blacksmiths would have been working iron in the area.  The items included leg irons, shackles, horse shoes, spikes, nails, wall brackets and metal tools.

The Blacksmith Compound is part of the World Heritage Australia Convict Sites and the Kingston area is known as KAVHA, Kingston Arthurs Vale Historic Area.   KAVHA is an outstanding significant World Heritage area with important convict settlements from the First Fleet in 1788 -1814 and 1825 -1855.  The Kingston area also has early Polynesian settlement history and is the place of arrival of the Pitcairn Island descendants back in 1856.  The KAVHA area was listed as National Heritage in 2007.

Doug Hobbs is the visiting archaeologist overseeing the works to stabilise the floor of the Blacksmith's compound.   Doug is visiting Norfolk Island from Darwin, he is a Senior Archaeologist at ARCHAEO Heritage Service, and he studied at the University of New England.  Doug was last in Norfolk Island in February this year and gave a lecture on his archaeology work.

I am so pleased I was able to view the recently uncovered artefacts uncovered and I took a few photos of the items and of Doug Hobbs, Caine Anderson and Pete Quintal who found the items.  It will be interesting to see what other items are unearthed.

WINTER SOLSTICE – NORFOLK ISLAND 2015 ... by Betty Matthews

This week on Sunday 21st June –Monday 22nd June is the longest night of the year, known as the Winter Solstice.  The Sun will be at its lowest point for the year for the Southern Hemisphere, so we will experience our shortest day of the year and the sun will rise at its most North Eastern point and set at the most North Western points.

Down in the Antarctica, the nights are very long, with no daylight hours and at the other end of the world in the Arctic the sun does not set and the Northern Hemisphere will be have their Summer Solstice with the longest day of their year.  I have been told that it is uncanny to watch the sunset from the Alaska cruise-ship during their longest days.  The sunset is in the middle of the night and the sun is hardly gone and it reappears.   It is an astronomical phenomenon which would be so amazing to see.

Last year I went out to Caption Cook Memorial and watched the winter sunset and it was lovely to watch it set into the ocean.  If you view the sunset from Kingston it sets over the Longridge hills and trees, compared to setting out to sea over the Ocean in the summer months.

Meaning of Solstice: 'Solstice' (Latin: 'solstitium') means 'sun-stopping'. The point on the horizon where the sun appears to rise and set stops and reverses direction after this day.

Solstices in Culture: Over the centuries, the June solstice has inspired countless festivals, midsummer celebrations and religious holidays.

One of the world's oldest evidence of the Summer Solstice's importance in culture is Stonehenge in England, a megalithic structure which clearly marks the moment of the June Solstice.

Many places in the world have a “Polar Bear Swim” on the Winter Solstices, braving the chilly water for a swim on the shortest day.  Here on Norfolk Island there are some people who swim all year round, so it is not unusual to see locals heading down for a swim in the winter months.

Over the years I have always thought the coldest weather comes after the shortest days, so winter time has arrived, it is time to pull out the winter woollies and go for some wintery walks and enjoy the Norfolk Island outdoors in all of its seasons beauty.   The long nights provide an added bonus for everyone to be able to enjoy the long dark starry Norfolk Island night skies.

Winter Solstice Norfolk Island approx. 4:09am 22 June 2015

21 June Sunday sunset 5:28pm, 22 June Monday sunrise 7:11am

If you would like more information check out this internet site:

June Solstice in Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia is on Monday, 22 June 2015 at 2:39 AM AEST (Change city)


June Solstice in Universal Coordinated Time is on Sunday, 21 June 2015 at 16:39 UTC


The Department of Industry and Regional Development has been ordered to release an uncensored report on Norfolk Island's fragile economy, despite fears it is not in the public interest.

In July 2011, a freedom of information request was lodged with the department for a copy of the Centre for International Economics' 2006 report on the island's economy.

The consultancy's report raised grave concerns about the financial sustainability of Norfolk Island and warned self-government could not be sustained given the size and strength of the island's economy and services.

When the CIE report was released in August 2011, the department deleted certain sections claiming they were exempt as cabinet documents, not in the public interest, or because they disclosed deliberative processes of an agency or minister. 

In a judgment published on Saturday, deputy president of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal of Australia Stephanie Fergie found the report was not exempt and must be released to the public.After a review in 2014 the information commissioner found the deleted sections were not exempt to public release, prompting the secretary of Prime Minister and Cabinet to apply for a further review.  

"Although the secretary to DIRD is shown as the respondent he and the secretary to PM&C took the same position arguing that the whole of the CIE report is exempt," Ms Fergie said.  

Court documents reveal the general manager of Industry' s Norfolk Island reform taskforce raised concerns the release of the report would be contrary to the public interest.  

"I have based this concern on the increasing fragility of the Norfolk Island economy, and the potential damage to business and public confidence that may be done through the release of a report that is based on assumptions that are no longer current," he told the court.

But Ms Fergie dismissed these concerns as irrelevant given the dated information in the report and the ongoing public discussion about the future of the island and its 1900 residents.

"I have not been given any specific evidence as to how access to the information from the CIE report will manifest itself in the form of any harm from the grant of access," she said.

"Given that it is plainly known that the information in the CIE report is out of date and given the concerns that already exist about Norfolk Island's economy, it is difficult to see how access to the full copy of the CIE report has the potential to damage business and public confidence in 2015."

Ms Fergie said it was clear that any information in the report would be understood as being nearly a decade old and that this was acknowledged in the report's foreword.

"It seems to me that the public interest in promoting the objects of the FOI Act outweighs considerations relating to potential damage to business and public confidence to those on Norfolk Island and considerations relating to the fragility of its economy," she said.

The original FOI applicant, Ben Sanderson, challenged the right of the secretary of PM&C to lodge an application, but Ms Fergie found he was entitled to do so.

In March this year, the Commonwealth announced Norfolk Island's government would be replaced with a local council in an effort to bring the island into the mainland tax, welfare, health and education system.


The historical ties between Norfolk Island and the Isle of Man are acknowledged in a Cultural Agreement signed on 5 July 2012 in the Isle of Man by former Speaker of the Legislative Assembly of Norfolk Island Robin Adams and the President of the Isle of Man Parliament Tynwald the Hon Noel Cringle.  Each year we acknowledge our respective National Days and again, on 8 June 2015, the Norfolk Island flag flew outside the Isle of Man Parliament. On 17 June I received the following email message from Mrs Clare Christian, President of Tynwald:

‘You may wish to know that at the end of our Tynwald sitting yesterday I made the following comment:

Honourable Members, you are aware that Tynwald and the Parliament of Norfolk Island in the South Pacific, because of our historic links through the Mutiny on the Bounty, have a cultural agreement, one element of which is to recognise each other’s National Day . To that end the Norfolk Island Flag was flown here on June 8th their Anniversary or Bounty Day.

I have been made aware today that tomorrow at 11.59pm, following the passage of legislation by the Australian Government, Norfolk Island will lose its parliamentary Assembly. However I hope that notwithstanding this change of status in the governance of Norfolk Island this island will continue to recognise our historic links with the Norfolk Island Community.”

This was endorsed with many “Hear Hear” s.

I hope this will reach you before 11.59pm your time as my last message to you in your capacity as a Member of your legislature and I attach a photo of your flag outside our Legislative Buildings on the 8th June 2015.

Be assured it will be there again next year.” End quote.

On 17 June 2015 the following letter from the Isle of Man Branch of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association was also received and a copy of that letter, which was read into Hansard at the last sitting of the Legislative Assembly of Norfolk Island.

Norfolk Island will again fly the Isle of Man on Tynwald Day on 5 July and Isle of Man music played over VL2NI on the day.


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