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Vale Michael Grimes

Number: A71/2019

Relevant: Christmas Island and Cocos (Keeling) Islands

Topic: Vale Michael Grimes

Date: 23 October 2019

The Australian Government acknowledges the significant contribution of former Christmas Island Administrator Michael John Grimes, who passed away overnight.

I would like to extend my deepest sympathy and condolences to Mr Grimes’ family and friends, and to the wider Christmas Island community.

Mr Grimes had a long connection with Christmas Island, first arriving as a school teacher in 1975 from Darwin, a survivor of Cyclone Tracy.

He was a community leader and advocate for social justice, and is fondly remembered in his role in establishing the Union of Christmas Island Workers (UCIW) as its foundation secretary.

Mr Grimes was the Administrator of Christmas Island from March 1992 to March 1994. He returned to the island last year as part of celebrations to mark the 60th anniversary of the transfer of sovereignty of Christmas Island to the Commonwealth of Australia.

He will be remembered as a decent, kind and gentle man who was a good friend to Christmas Islanders past and present.

Flags on Christmas Island have been flown at half-mast to mark his passing.

In 1996, the Administrator’s role on Christmas Island was combined with the role of Administrator of the Cocos (Keeling) Islands.

The Administrator of the Territories of Christmas Island and the Cocos (Keeling) Islands is the most senior Australian Government representative residing in the Indian Ocean Territories.

The Administrator is a statutory appointee of the Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia, made on the recommendation of the Government.

Vale Michael John Grimes.

Mrs Natasha Griggs
Administrator of Christmas Island and the Cocos (Keeling) Islands