I grew up in a small rural town, before moving to the coast for my high school years. After my graduation, I moved to Brisbane for university and have been fortunate enough to live all around Australia, and even overseas, since finishing school!
I applied to work with ASIO while I was still at university, joining the Organisation as a trainee on the Intelligence Officer Development Program, during which I undertook analytical and operational training. The twelve-month program was both challenging and exceptionally rewarding and was a blend of classroom-based and real-world exercises followed by work placements in actual ASIO teams. On completion of the program, I joined the ASIO workforce as an Intelligence Officer working from a regional office. In addition to loving my current job, I know that each new posting will bring a host of opportunities to try something new and different.
I chose to apply for the Intelligence Officer Development Program as I felt this particular role best aligned with my skills, personality and interests. It can be challenging to know which path to take when you finish university, and I did have a couple of career paths I was considering. Now that I worked with ASIO for a few years, I have no doubts that I made the right choice for me!
The ASIO recruitment process can be lengthy due to the requirement that ASIO Officers hold a security clearance, so you’ll need to be patient! Having said that, I found the interview and assessment process to be pretty straightforward, much like you would experience with other job applications. There are a number of steps in the process, including interviews, assessments and paperwork. My recruitment experience was positive – I was kept up to date throughout and knew I was able to call the Recruitment team if I had any questions regarding my application.
ASIO is Australia’s Security Intelligence Organisation. We exist to protect Australia, and its people, from threats to national security. This is done through the collection and analysis of information, and the provision of advice to the Australian Government and departments, and to industry. The collection of information occurs through a number of methods, some of which is done by Intelligence Officers and is then collated and assessed by ASIO Analysts. This advice is provided to ASIO’s customers for consideration in the formation and development of decisions related to national security.
As an Intelligence Officer, my role is to collect information which is then analysed and used to form assessments and provide national security advice to the Australian Government and other customers. Intelligence Officers must be attentive to detail to ensure the information being provided for analysis is detailed and precise. ASIO collects information through various methods, one of which is engaging with members of the Australian public, and working collaboratively with other ASIO teams all around Australia to achieve organisational objectives.
Well, that’s the thing – I don’t have a typical workday! No two days are the same, and what you had planned to do that day can change quickly. Most days will involve some time in the office and some time out of the office (sometimes I am required to travel inter-state), and there is always something interesting to work on. My work varies depending on the security environment and current organisational priorities.
Career opportunities for an Intelligence Officer are varied. Intelligence Officer’s work on 3-5 year postings so you get to try a different role every few years. Completion of the Intelligence Officer Development Program also qualifies you to work as an ASIO Analyst and you may have the opportunity to work overseas, or with other government agencies, in addition to considering promotion in both operational and corporate teams. Completing a development program or traineeship with ASIO is a unique opportunity that I found has equipped me with excellent life skills which will serve me well wherever I end up in the future.
What would your career be if you weren’t doing what you’re doing now?
It is hard to imagine myself in a different career - I love working with people in order to help them and improve their lives. My current job allows me to work with people, for the ultimate goal of keeping Australia and Australians safe. Had I not followed this path, I would likely have pursued a career as a Psychologist.
I am fortunate to be able to say I enjoy going to work, and that I love my job. I know that my job directly contributes to the protection of Australia’s security, and for me, that is the best kind of job satisfaction I could ask for. It’s a bonus that I get to work with great people, on the subject matter that I find very interesting. I appreciate that no two days are the same for me and that I am constantly learning and challenging myself to be a more effective and creative Intelligence Officer.
One of the biggest limitations as an ASIO Officer is the inability to discuss my work with those close to me, or even say where it is that I work. While it is challenging, it is necessary and it is definitely very manageable.
Being an Intelligence Officer means I do bear significant responsibility. However, we all work in teams who are there to share the load, and ASIO provides excellent support mechanisms if ever needed. There are occasions where I need to work late or on weekends; however, I generally work normal business hours.