Our longstanding committee member, Michael Kile wrote an intriguing article on the government's border protection issue for the Australian literary and cultural journal Quadrant. Michael argues that it is the proximity of Christmas Island to Indonesia that makes people-smuggling a feasible business and suggests that Indonesia could be receptive, to receive the teritory, as it would create an opportunity to resolve an unratified border issue between it and Australia. Michael's article can be viewed in full here. Subsequntly, Michael's 'Letter to the editor' of the Australian Financial Review on the same topic was published in the paper in late August, you can read it in full bellow.
The Australian Financial Review
CEDE CHRISTMAS ISLAND TO INDONESIA
A little history – and geography - can be a dangerous thing, especially this close to an election.
Your readers might be interested in two facts not mentioned by either John Kerin (“Labor reset too late”, August 19) or Maxine McKew (“The ‘boats’ a measure of who we are”, August 19).
William Mynors, captain of an East India Company vessel, the Royal Mary, named Christmas Island on December 25, 1643. Whether because of bad weather, the limestone cliffs, or some drunken EIC maritime health and safety officials on board, he was unable to make a landing.
Following the discovery of phosphate, the British Crown ‘annexed’ the island on 6th June, 1888. At Australia’s request, it was transferred to Australia on 1st October 1958 after payment of £2.9 million compensation to the Singapore government for the remaining reserves.
The other Komodo dragon in the room is geography. Christmas Island’s closest point to the Australian mainland is Exmouth, 1,560 km away. Yet – as people smugglers are well aware – it is a mere 344 km (186 nautical miles) south of Java.
What better way to mark the 370th anniversary of the island’s discovery this year than by gifting our so-called Indian Ocean Territories to Indonesia on Christmas Day, thereby resolving both border and asylum seeker issues with the stroke of a pen?
Perhaps the subject is a secret agenda item at this week’s Special Conference on the Irregular Movement of Persons in Jakarta, but I doubt it.
Michael Kile, Crawley
The opinions expressed above are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect those of the Australian Institute of International Affairs, of which he is a member.
NOTICE TO MEMBERS - ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING (AGM)
The Annual General Meeting of the Australian Institute of International Affairs (AIIA) Western Australia will be held on Tuesday 1st October from 6pm for a 6:30pm start at St Catherine’s College, entry off Stirling Highway opposite The University of Western Australia (overflow car parking opposite at UWA’s Lawrance Wilson Art Gallery at the corner of Fairway & Stirling Hwy, Crawley).
The AGM will be followed by a presentation from AIIA National Executive Director, Melissa Conley Tyler, who will be visiting from the National Office in Canberra speaking on “Australia Re-discovering the Indo-Pacific”.
2. Acceptance of agenda
3. Minutes of previous AGM - access via the link under AGM Documentation Package far below.
4. President’s report - access via the link under AGM Documentation Package far below.
5. Treasurer’s report - access via the link under AGM Documentation Package far below.
6. Vote on AIIA WA Constitution - access via the link under AGM Documentation Package far below.
Any member comments to be lodged to firstname.lastname@example.org no later than COB Friday 20th September.
7. Election of office bearers for 2013/14
The following positions are to be elected:
· Vice President/s
· Committee members
Mr John R Goodlad
Professor Samina Yasmeen
Ms Anna George
Ms Amy Blundell
Ms Kim Phan
Ms Anne-Marie Balbi
Mr Jim Baxter
Dr Sue Boyd (Immediate Past President)
Mr Michael Kile
Ms Sally Milton
Mr John O’Mahony
Mrs Suzanne O’Mahony
Ms Martina Ucnikova
Notwithstanding that certain members of the outgoing Committee will stand for re-election (as depicted in the table above), nominations are nonetheless invited for the aforementioned positions following the process outlined in AIIA WA Committee Nomination Instructions (104.28 kB).
- Any other business
Please find all the required AGM documentation below:
- AIIA WA 2012 AGM Minutes (123.28 kB)
- AIIA President's Report (165.09 kB)
- AIIA WA Treasurer report + financial statements (299.6 kB)
- AIIA WA Constitution (154.83 kB)
- AIIA WA 2013 AGM Minutes (343.14 kB)
Please be advised that only those members that are current (financial) as at the AGM on 1st October 2013 will be permitted to vote.
Want voting rights, but haven’t renewed your membership? It’s not too late. Find out how to renew your membership here.
For further information, please contact:
Honorary Secretary | Western Australia
M: 0409 523 566