a small island in the Pacific Ocean located between Australia, New
Zealand and New
Caledonia. It and two neighboring islands form one of
Captain James Cook in 1774, it was claimed by him for Great Britain
and named in honor of the Duchess of Norfolk. Cook sailed on, and the island was
to remain uninhabited for a further 14 years. Since then the island has seen two
penal settlements come and go, the second of which was the most brutal ever
established by Britain.
In 1856 the island
received those who call it home to this day - the Pitcairners, descendants of
the Bounty Mutineers.
After the creation of the
Commonwealth of Australia in 1901, Norfolk
Island was placed under the authority of the new Commonwealth
government to be administered as an external territory.
In 1979, Norfolk was granted limited self-government by
Australia, under which the island
elects a government that runs most of the island's affairs. As such, residents
of Norfolk Island are not represented in the
Commonwealth Parliament of Australia, making them the only group of residents of
an Australian state or territory not represented there