New Australian Territories stamp issue – Skies of Cocos

The remote Cocos (Keeling) Islands are located 2,770 kilometres north-west of Perth in the Indian Ocean and comprise two tropical coral atolls. The southern atoll consists of 26 islands and the uninhabited northern atoll, North Keeling Island, lies 24 kilometres away.

Of approximately 570 people living on the southern atoll, 86 per cent are Cocos Malays, descended from Javanese labourers originally brought to the islands in the 19th century to farm coconuts. The remaining population is European, mainly employed by the Australian government.

The romance and the beauty of the Cocos (Keeling) Islands are captured in its dramatic sunrises and sunsets, although ironically, colour in the sky is influenced primarily by impurities like dust or smoke in the air.

The photographs used in the stamp designs were taken by Cocos (Keeling) Islands local photographers Karen Willshaw and Ismail Macrae.

Each of the stamps in this issue captures the colour and vibrancy of nature's work as it presents the beginning and the end of the day.

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