Dawson Island Crown Colony
Dawson Island
Dawson Island Colony Flag
Dawson Island Colony Seal
Flag Coat of arms
Anthem: God Save the Queen (official)
Advance Australia Fair (native)
Location of Dawson Island
and largest city
Flinders Town
Official languages English
Ethnic groups 95% White
3% Aboriginal
2% Other
Demonym Dawson Islander
Government British Overseas Territory
• Monarch
Elizabeth II
• Govenor
Andrew Lionel
• Responsible Minister
Mark Simmonds MP
• Dawson Island Charter
April 13, 1814
• Administration of island to New South Wales
January 4,1820
• Separation from New South Wales
August 24, 1849
• Current constitution
May 1, 1985
• Total
1,850 km2 (710 sq mi) (6th)
• Water (%)
• 2012 estimate
177,310 (188th)
• Density
101/km2 (261.6/sq mi) (174th)
GDP (PPP) 2013 estimate
• Total
$5.939 billion
(DI£4.261 billion) (148th)
HDI 0.910
very high · 12th
Currency Dawson Island pound (DI£) (£) (DIP)
Dawson Island (officially the Dawson Island Crown Colony) is a British Overseas Territory located in the Pacific Ocean, 70 km of shore from the Australian mainland. Comprised of six islands, the largest of which being Dawson Island (where the country derives it's name), it is officially the only overseas territory which uses the term "crown colony" as an official title. 

For approximately 5000 years, the Dawson Island area has been inhabited by Australian Aboriginals before the first sighting by a European explorer, James Cook, in 1770. It would not be until 1802 in which another explorer, Matthew Flinders, stood foot on Dawson Island (naming it Great Sandy Island). Subsequent expeditions to the area in 1803 and 1806 revealed the Great Sandy Strait separated the islands and the mainland.

In 1813, the private New Holland Company gained a charter for the establishment of a colony in the area, and set off over 300 settlers to establish New Balham Town (later renamed to Flinders Town in honour of Matthew Flinders). In 1820, when the colony had a population of around 1000 members, the administration was transferred from the New Holland Company of London to Sydney in the New South Wales (NSW) colony.

It was not until 1849 in which a letters patent constituted Dawson Island as a separate colony from NSW, assuming strong ties to the United Kingdom. During the remainder of the 19th century, the population of Flinders Town doubled from around 10,000 in 1849 to 20,000 in 1900. During the federation movement of Australia, the Dawson Island colony took part in a number of conventions held in the 1890's, sending delegates in the early stages. However, dogged by lack of popular appeal, the colony refused to take part in further talks post 1895. Despite this however, a referendum was held in 1901 following the federation of all other Australian colonies in which the people of the Dawson Island voted against integration into the new nation. Further referendums were held in 1920, 1935, 1944, 1968 and 1999, all of which being voted against.