Indian Ocean Territories Administrator appointment

The Australian Government has announced the appointment of Ms Farzian Zainal as Administrator of Christmas Island and the Cocos (Keeling) Islands for a period of three years, following a rigorous and merit-based selection process.

Ms Zainal brings extensive experience in public and private sector leadership, most recently serving as a Councillor of the Shire of Christmas Island and as the Deputy Chair of the Indian Ocean Territories (IOT) Regional Development Organisation.

As a fourth generation Christmas Islander, Ms Zainal also brings valuable local expertise and lived experience, which will underpin her contribution to the current and long-term interests of the IOT.

The Administrator is an important public office - carrying out key statutory, civic and ceremonial responsibilities for Christmas and Cocos (Keeling) Islands, while engaging with and advocating for the communities.

Ms Zainal will be officially sworn in by the Governor-General of Australia on 26 May 2023, and will commence the role on 19 June 2023.

Quotes attributable to the Minister for Regional Development, Local Government and Territories, and Member for Eden-Monaro, the Hon Kristy McBain MP:

“I congratulate Ms Zainal on her appointment as Administrator of Christmas Island and the Cocos (Keeling) Islands and look forward to working with her closely to deliver positive outcomes for the IOT.

“From economic sustainability and diversification, maximising unique cultural and environmental assets, and addressing the challenges of climate change – Ms Zainal will play a key role in progressing the Australian Government’s priorities for the IOT.

“Ms Zainal’s experience in various local businesses and community groups in the IOT, along with her work in the public sector, has provided her with a strong understanding of the socioeconomic and physical environment of the IOT – which will underpin her success in this role.

“I thank Mrs Natasha Griggs for her contribution during her time as Administrator of Christmas Island and the Cocos (Keeling) Islands and am pleased to have now completed this important selection process.”