- Indian Ocean Territories

Under agreement with the Commonwealth, the Indian Ocean Territories (IOT) are covered by the Equal Opportunity Act 1984, and the Commission is contracted to provide community education and information.  The Commission also investigates complaints of alleged unlawful discrimination from Cocos (Keeling) and Christmas Islands (the Islands).

Commission Officers travel regularly to the Islands to deliver training to local government employees, the private sector and community groups.  In 2015-16 the Commission participated in an initiative to trial a different model of service delivery where the Commission joined with other WA government agencies to travel to the Islands together and deliver joint sessions. 

There was positive feedback from this combined trip indicating that IOT residents received more value from interactions with combined groups of government departmental staff.  In May 2017 Commission staff travelled to both islands and conducted information and awareness raising sessions in partnership with the Department for Child Protection’s Working with Children Screening Unit (WWC) and staff from the Health and Disability Service Complaints Office (HaDSCO).  Twenty-one sessions were held with representatives of community groups, administrative bodies, not for profit organisations and individuals on both islands including with:

Christmas Island:

  • Malay Association
  • Islamic Council
  • Senior’s Club
  • CI Women’s Association
  • Shire of Christmas Island
  • Legal Aid (WA)
  • Indian Ocean Territories Health Service
  • A public community forum. 

Cocos (Keeling) Islands:

  • Islamic Council (Home Island)
  • Indian Ocean Group Training Association (IOGTA)
  • Cocos Island Community Resource Centre
  • Women’s Group (Home Island)
  • Cocos (Keeling) Island District High School
  • Cocos Cooperative Society Limited
  • Shire of Cocos (Keeling) Islands
  • Indian Ocean Territories Health Service
  • Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development (DIRD).

Training and information sessions/presentations

Structured rights based training sessions included:

  • Three Refresher EO Law Sessions delivered to staff of Cocos Cooperative Society in conjunction with HaDSCO representatives.
  • Two Refresher EO Law Sessions delivered to staff (admin and depot) of Shire of Christmas Island and one session delivered to Christmas Island Phosphate staff.

Enquiries and complaints

While on the Islands, ten individual community members requested meetings with Commission staff to discuss issues including allegations of unlawful discrimination and requests for information on rights and discrimination law.