What it does: ASIS (Australian Secret Intelligence Service) works to gain and distribute secret intelligence on the intentions, activities, and capabilities of individuals or organisations outside Australia, which may impact Australia's interests and the well-being of its citizens.
Mission: To collect and distribute international secret intelligence
Size and presence: The agency cannot reveal the number of staff for reasons of operational security
Best known for: It is Australia’s Secret Service whose role is often compared to that of the US CIA or British M16
The good bits: Competitive salary and unique learning and development opportunities that cannot be found anywhere else
The not-so-good bits: You need to be discreet about your association with ASIS
On 13 May 1952, as a part of the Department of Defence portfolio, ASIS was formed as a collector of foreign intelligence, primarily in the Asia-Pacific region. In 1954, the ministerial authority for ASIS shifted to the Minister for Foreign Affairs.
Its existence remained a secret for more than twenty years, and it was not publicly acknowledged until 1977. In 2001, the Intelligence Services Act 2001 provided a legislative framework for ASIS and made its functions and limits public for the first time.
ASIS gathers intelligence in response to government priorities only, which can include national defence, international relations and economic issues. Today, ASIS is still part of the Foreign Affairs portfolio and is responsible to the Minister for Foreign Affairs.
ASIS is also a member of the National Intelligence Community (NIC) which consists of ten agencies that work closely with each other. ASIS also contributes to the national efforts against the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, terrorism, and transnational issues such as people smuggling.
It also provides assistance to the Defence Force in support of military operations, cooperates with the Defence Force on intelligence matters, conducts counter-intelligence activities, and liaises with intelligence or security services, or authorities of other countries.
ASIS staff are based in Canberra, but some of the roles are given the opportunity to undertake postings in overseas locations. Both will allow you to interact with people and cultures from across the globe because ASIS's work has an international focus. This will broaden your understanding of the world and Australia’s place within it.
ASIS is also a great place to grow your skill set. Intelligence officers are crucial to what they do, but running an organisation also takes a variety of corporate roles. The knowledge and expertise of each corporate officer are essential to the success of ASIS operations, especially with the nature of the organisation where traditional solutions do not always apply.
At ASIS, staff can enjoy a work-life balance with reasonable working hours, flexible work arrangements, time off in lieu, compressed hours and carers leave to care for immediate family members.
The majority of roles at ASIS are extremely safe, but some officers may choose to work in high-threat locations. However, this is not mandatory, and ASIS will not tell its officers to do something they are uncomfortable with. They will also provide proper training and ongoing support.
Working at ASIS does come with some risk in the sense that if people publicly know you work for the department, you could become of interest to their adversaries. That is why they ask employees to be discreet about their roles.
Fresh graduates can apply to ASIS Graduate Programs where you will complete a rotational program to help you learn about different parts of the Organisation. This will give you a strong understanding of the business of intelligence. The types of rotations and training and development opportunities will depend on which graduate stream you choose. The ones currently open are Graduate Program Finance and Graduate Program STEM.
Other current vacancies on their Career page include Talent Register Administration, Talent Register Executive Assistant, and Talent Register Commonwealth Public Servants. You need to address the selection criteria associated with the advertised position. Provide responses to specific questions to demonstrate your capability in a relevant way.
Before applying online, you need to create an account to preview and print the data requested throughout the Application Form, so you can gather any missing pieces of information. You need the following details on hand:
ASIS emphasises that they need to properly examine the candidate’s travel and employment history, and this can take time. It is also essential that you not discuss your application with anyone, as this could impact your career with ASIS. These has important reasons which will become clear when you progress through the recruitment process. If your application is shortlisted, you will be contacted within 6-12 weeks.
ASIS offers long-term career opportunities. Regular promotion and internal transfer opportunities are available, and the promotion decisions are based on merit.
The estimated salaries per year in ASIS are Intern-Graduate Program (AU$87,945), Talent Register Administration (AU$85,383-89,066), Talent Register Executive Assistant (AU$85,383-89,066), Talent Register Commonwealth Public Servants (AU$85,383-177,861), Executive Assistant (AU$91,160), IT Security Specialist (AU$91,420).
Other positions can expect higher pay, such as Records Manager (AU$105,550), Technologist (AU$107,000), Human Resource Specialist (AU$109,250), Hardware Design Engineer (AU$117,090), Senior Psychologist (AU$127,880), Senior Counsellor (AU$139,104), Administration Assistant (AU$139,357), Legal Secretary (AU139,357), Director (AU$151,860),
Competitive remuneration packages
Flexible working arrangements:
In-house and external learning and development opportunities:
Health and well-being: