Defence Intelligence Organisation

The Defence Intelligence Organisation (DIO) is an Australian government military intelligence agency responsible for strategic intelligence and technical intelligence assessments, advising defence and government decision-making on national security and international security issues, and the planning and conduct of Australian Defence Force operations. The DIO does not collect intelligence or conduct covert action, but works on defence economics, transnational terrorism, and WMD.

The DIO is an agency of the Australian Intelligence Community and is part of the Defence Strategic Policy and Intelligence Group with the Australian Geospatial-Intelligence Organisation (AGO) and the Australian Signals Directorate (ASD). The head of DIO is the Director of the Defence Intelligence Organisation, currently Major General Matthew Hall.

Defence Intelligence Organisation
Defence Intelligence Organisation logo
Agency overview
Preceding agencies
  • Joint Intelligence Organisation
  • Joint Intelligence Bureau
HeadquartersRussell Offices, Canberra
Agency executive
  • Major General Matthew Hall, Director of the Defence Intelligence Organisation
Parent agencyDepartment of Defence


Joint Intelligence Bureau

In the post-World War II period, the military intelligence and strategic assessments functions were shared between the Navy, Army and Air Force intelligence directorates and the Joint Intelligence Bureau (JIB) from 1947 to 1969. JIB was responsible for geographic, infrastructure and economic intelligence – mainly in Australia's region. In 1957, JIB's responsibilities were expanded to include scientific and technical intelligence.

Joint Intelligence Organisation

In 1969, most of the foreign assessment elements of the three armed services were merged to form the Joint Intelligence Organisation (JIO).[1] The Royal Commission on Intelligence and Security (also called the first Hope Commission) in 1977 recommended the establishment of the Office of National Assessments (ONA) as an independent statutory agency to provide all-source assessments on international political, strategic and economic developments to the Prime Minister and to assume the foreign intelligence assessment role of JIO. JIO was then reoriented to focus more closely on defence intelligence and strategic interests. The second Hope Commission endorsed these arrangements in 1984. In 1989, counterterrorism was added to JIO's responsibilities.


A review of Defence intelligence in 1989 by Major General John Baker led to the establishment in 1990 of the Defence Intelligence Organisation (DIO) as the sole strategic level, all-source intelligence assessment agency for the Department of Defence. Baker became the first Director of DIO in 1990 until 1992.

DIO is the strategic-level, all-source intelligence assessment agency for the Department of Defence. It is not an autonomous body; unlike ONA, DIO is a subordinate organisation within the Department of Defence with no separate statutory mandate or direct budget line. The organisation's character and purpose is defined by its position within the Defence portfolio.

DIO is an integrated civilian–military organisation, with the majority of staff being public servants recruited through either the defence graduate program or direct entry.


DIO's assessments focus on the Asia-Pacific region and cover strategic, political, defence, military, economic, scientific and technical areas. DIO's intelligence products help inform decisions about Australia's military activities at home and abroad, defence acquisition processes, force readiness decisions, strategic policy, international relations and defence scientific developments.

DIO also maintains close links with intelligence agencies of other allied countries. In addition, it maintains links with intelligence agencies of a range of other countries to foster dialogue and the exchange of information and as a contribution to defence relationships with regional countries.

Australian troops deploying to Afghanistan and Iraq were briefed by DIO on enemy weapons and forces.


The position of Director of the Defence Intelligence Organisation is a two-star rank position.

Joint Intelligence Bureau Directors
Mr A.P. Fleming CBE 1947–1949
Commander A.S. Storey DSC, RAN 1949–1952
Major General Sir W. J. Cawthorn CB, CIE, CBE 1952–1954
Mr W. Harold King MBE 1954–1968
Mr A.W. McMichael OBE 1968–1969
Joint Intelligence Organisation Directors
Mr R.W. Furlonger CB 1969–1972
Mr G. Jockel CBE 1972–1978
Mr A.W. McMichael OBE 1978–1982
Mr J.O. Furner CBE 1982–1984
Mr G.R. Marshall 1984–1987
Dr P. Dibb 1987–1988
Major General J.S. Baker AO 1989–1990
Defence Intelligence Organisation Directors
Major General J.S. Baker AO 1990–1992
Major General J.C. Hartley AO 1992–1995
Major General J.M. Connolly AO 1995–1996
Major General W.J. Crews AO 1997–1999
Mr F. Lewincamp PSM 1999–2005
Major General M.R. McNarn AO 2005–2009
Major General R.G. Wilson AO 2009–2011
Major General P.B. Symon AO 2011–2014
Air Vice Marshal J. McGarry AM, CSC 2014–2016
Major General Matthew Hall DSC, AM, CSC 2017 – Current


  1. ^ CA 1533: Defence Intelligence Organisation, National Archives of Australia, retrieved 27 April 2016

External links

Australian Army Intelligence Corps

The Australian Intelligence Corps (AUSTINT) is a corps within the Australian Army. It was formed on 6 December 1907 and provides intelligence personnel in every formation headquarters in the Army. As of 2007, the corps consisted of "169 officers and 232 other ranks".

Australian Cyber Security Centre

The Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC) is an Australian Government intergovernmental and interagency hub responsible for cybersecurity including analysing, investigating and reporting cyber threats and coordinating national security capabilities and operations for incidents of cybercrime, cyberterrorism, and cyberwarfare. The ACSC is hosted by the Australian Signals Directorate but based at the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation headquarters in the Ben Chifley Building. The Centre is led by the National Cyber Coordinator, overseen by the Cyber Security Operations Board, and is the joint responsibility of the Minister for Defence and the Minister for Home Affairs.

Australian Defence Organisation

The Australian Defence Organisation (abbreviated as ADO) is an Australian Government organisation that consists of both the Australian Defence Force (ADF) and the civilian Department of Defence personnel supporting the ADF.

Australian Intelligence Community

The Australian Intelligence Community (AIC) and the National Intelligence Community (NIC) or National Security Community of the Australian Government are the collectives of statutory intelligence agencies, policy departments, and other government agencies concerned with protecting and advancing the national security and national interests of the Commonwealth of Australia. The intelligence and security agencies of the Australian Government have evolved since the Second World War and the Cold War and saw transformation and expansion during the Global War on Terrorism in response to current international and domestic security issues such as terrorism, violent extremism, cybersecurity, transnational crime, counter-proliferation, support to military operations, and Pacific regional instability.The National Security Committee of Cabinet (NSC) is a Cabinet committee and the peak Australian Government decision-making body for national security, intelligence, foreign policy, and defence matters. It is chaired by the Prime Minister and is composed of the Deputy Prime Minister, Attorney-General, Treasurer, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Minister for Defence, and Minister for Home Affairs.

Chief of Defence Intelligence (Canada)

The Chief of Defence Intelligence (CDI); French: Chef du Renseignement de la Défense, (CRD) was a Canadian intelligence agency, part of a broader Canadian security and intelligence community that comprises several departments and agencies that collect and analyze intelligence on issues of concern to Canada and also manages DND/CF national/international intelligence partnerships.

In addition to providing support to military operations, CDI provides the community with unique capabilities and expertise: strategic threats to Canada and allied governments, indications and warning intelligence on international political and military activities, strategic and crisis coverage of regional security developments that may affect Canadian security interests or engage Canadian forces, and scientific and technical intelligence with a defence or security focus. CDI supports broader intelligence community collection, analysis and reporting on asymmetric threats, terrorism and international criminal activity.

CDI was renamed Canadian Forces Intelligence Command in 2013 and it is equivalent to: the Defense Intelligence Agency of the US, Defence Intelligence of the UK and Defence Intelligence Organisation of Australia.

Defence Strategic Policy and Intelligence Group

The Defence Strategic Policy and Intelligence Group (SP&I) of the Australian Government Department of Defence is responsible for defence diplomacy, strategic policy, international security, and military intelligence co-ordination and advice to the Prime Minister of Australia, Minister for Defence, Secretary of the Department of Defence, and Chief of the Defence Force. The Defence Strategic Policy and Intelligence Group is led by the Deputy Secretary for Strategic Policy and Intelligence and comprises four policy divisions and three intelligence agencies, which are the Australian Defence Organisation members of the Australian Intelligence Community.

The Group has existed in various forms since the Cold War within the Department of Defence with responsibilities for defence policy, strategy, intelligence, and international policy. It has been known as the Defence Strategy and Intelligence Group, the Defence Strategy Executive, the Defence Intelligence and Security Group, the Defence Intelligence, Security and International Policy Group, and the Defence Intelligence Group. The current SP&I Group was established on 8 February 2016 as a key recommendation of the First Principles Review of the Australian Defence Organisation, integrating all policy, strategy and intelligence functions of the Australian Government Department of Defence.The Deputy Secretary for Strategic Policy and Intelligence can be seen as the Australian combined equivalent of the Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence and the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy of the United States Department of Defense.

Defense intelligence (disambiguation)

Defense intelligence (US English) is a part of the military intelligence while the Defence Intelligence (Standard English) is a key member of the United Kingdom Intelligence Community. The words may also refer to:

Defence Intelligence (company), a Canadian firm also known as Defintel

Defence Intelligence and Security Centre, headquarters of the Defence College of Intelligence and British Army Intelligence Corps

Defence Intelligence and Security Group, a division of the Australian Department of Defence

Defence Intelligence Organisation (DIO), an Australian government agency

Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security (Australia)

The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security (IGIS) is an independent statutory office holder in the Commonwealth of Australia responsible for reviewing the activities of the six intelligence agencies which collectively comprise the Australian Intelligence Community (AIC). With own motion powers in addition to considering complaints or requests from ministers, IGIS is a key element of the accountability regime for Australia’s intelligence and security agencies.

The current Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security, since 24 August 2015, is Justice Margaret Stone, formerly a judge of the Federal Court.There are currently six intelligence and security agencies which form the AIC, namely:

Australian Geospatial-Intelligence Organisation (AGO)

Australian Secret Intelligence Service (ASIS)

Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO)

Australian Signals Directorate (ASD)

Defence Intelligence Organisation (DIO)

Office of National Assessments (ONA)

Jean-Philippe Wispelaere

Jean-Philippe Wispelaere is a former intelligence analyst for the Australian Defence Intelligence Organisation. He was convicted of attempting to sell United States military secrets to a foreign country in 1999.

Wispelaere began his work at the DIO in July 1998, and had access to data which was provided to the DIO through Australia's treaties with the United States. In January the following year, Wispelaere quit his job and travelled to Bangkok, where he approached the embassy of a foreign country, offering to sell classified material to that country. (The country is reported by some sources to be Singapore). The country notified the United States, and the FBI began to investigate. Posing as agents for a foreign country (allegedly Russia), the FBI met Wispelaere in Bangkok, where he gave them hundreds of sensitive documents in exchange for cash. Later, he mailed more documents to an address in Virginia, also run by the FBI.

On 15 May, Wispelaere was lured to Washington, where he expected to meet the foreign agent. He was arrested by the FBI at Dulles International Airport, and was charged with attempted espionage. Under a plea bargain agreement, Wispelaere agreed to co-operate with investigators in exchange for a lighter penalty. He was sentenced to fifteen years in prison. He is alleged to suffer from mental illness, and his trial was delayed to claims he was suffering from schizophrenia.

In May 2009 Attorney-General Robert McClelland granted preliminary approval for Wispelaere to return to Australia under the international prisoner transfer scheme.

John Baker (general)

General John Stuart Baker (24 February 1936 – 9 July 2007) was a senior Australian Army officer. Entering the Royal Military College, Duntroon in 1954, his career culminated with his appointment as Chief of the Defence Force from 1995 to 1998, the most senior position in the Australian Defence Force. Baker also served as the inaugural Director of the Defence Intelligence Organisation from 1990 to 1992, Vice Chief of the Defence Force from 1992 to 1995, and was author of the highly influential 1988 "Baker Report".

Joint Intelligence Organisation (Australia)

The Joint Intelligence Organisation (JIO) was an Australian government intelligence agency that existed between 1969 and 1990 and which was responsible for the analysis of defence and foreign intelligence.

The JIO was staffed by civilian officers of the Department of Defence, foreign service officers of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, and service personnel from the Australian Army, the Royal Australian Navy, and the Royal Australian Air Force. The JIO also maintained the National Assessments Staff (NAS) which supported the National Intelligence Committee (the predecessor to the National Intelligence Coordination Committee) until 1977 when it was assumed by the Office of National Assessments. The NAS was responsible for preparing long–range analytical assessments of international issues.

The foreign intelligence assessment functions of JIO were assumed by the Office of National Assessments (ONA) in 1977 and the JIO was fully replaced by the Defence Intelligence Organisation (DIO) in 1990.

National Intelligence Coordination Committee

The National Intelligence Coordination Committee (NICC) is a peak intergovernmental officials-level body of the Government of Australia responsible for the development and co-ordination of the Australian Intelligence Community in accordance with the National Security Committee of Cabinet. The NICC is chaired by the Director-General of the Office of National Intelligence.The United Kingdom Joint Intelligence Committee and the United States Office of the Director of National Intelligence have similar but not analogous functions as the NICC.

Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security

The Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security (PJCIS) is a joint committee of the Parliament of Australia which oversees Australia's primary agencies of the Australian Intelligence Community: Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO), the Australian Secret Intelligence Service (ASIS), the Australian Signals Directorate (ASD), the Defence Intelligence Organisation (DIO), the Australian Geospatial-Intelligence Organisation (DIGO), and the Office of National Assessments (ONA).

The Committee, then called the Parliamentary Joint Committee on ASIO, ASIS and DSD, was established pursuant to the Intelligence Services Act 2001 and was first appointed in March 2002.

Paul Dibb

Paul Dibb AM (born 3 October 1939) is an English-born Australian strategist, academic and former defence intelligence official. He is currently emeritus professor of strategic studies at the Strategic and Defence Studies Centre which is part of the Australian National University.He was the head of the National Assessments Staff (the predecessor to the Office of National Assessments) from 1974 to 1978, the director of the Joint Intelligence Organisation (the predecessor to the Defence Intelligence Organisation) from 1986 to 1988, and the head of the Defence Strategy and Intelligence Group with the rank of Deputy Secretary in the Department of Defence from 1988 to 1991. Dibb is also known for his contribution to Australian defence strategy through writing the 1986 Review of Australia’s defence capabilities, known as the Dibb Report, and being the primary author of the 1987 Defence White Paper. From 1965 to 1984, Dibb worked for the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation, tasked with gaining intelligence and recruiting KGB and GRU agents in Canberra.

Paul Symon

Major General Paul Bruce Symon, (born 1960) is the Director-General of the Australian Secret Intelligence Service since 18 December 2017. A retired senior Australian Army officer, Symon served as Director of the Defence Intelligence Organisation from 2011 to 2014 and as Deputy Chief of Army from 2009 to 2011.

Richard Wilson (general)

Major General Richard Gary Wilson, AO (born 16 January 1955) is a retired senior officer of the Australian Army. He served as Director of the Defence Intelligence Organisation from 2009 to 2011, and Chairman of the Queensland Reconstruction Authority in the wake of the 2010–11 Queensland floods.

Timor Leste Defence Force

The Timor Leste Defence Force (Tetum: Forcas Defesa Timor Lorosae, Portuguese: Forças de Defesa de Timor Leste or Falintil-FDTL, often F-FDTL) is the military body responsible for the defence of East Timor. The F-FDTL was established in February 2001 and comprised two small infantry battalions, a small naval component and several supporting units.

The F-FDTL's primary role is to protect East Timor from external threats. It also has an internal security role, which overlaps with that of the Policia Nacional de Timor Leste (PNTL). This overlap has led to tensions between the services, which have been exacerbated by poor morale and lack of discipline within the F-FDTL.

The F-FDTL's problems came to a head in 2006 when almost half the force was dismissed following protests over discrimination and poor conditions. The dismissal contributed to a general collapse of both the F-FDTL and PNTL in May and forced the government to request foreign peacekeepers to restore security. The F-FDTL is currently being rebuilt with foreign assistance and has drawn up a long-term force development plan.


Wispelaere is a surname. Notable people with the surname include:

Jean-Philippe Wispelaere, a former intelligence analyst for the Australian Defence Intelligence Organisation

Paul de Wispelaere (1928–2016), a Flemish writer

AIC Agencies
NIC Agencies
& Training

This page is based on a Wikipedia article written by authors (here).
Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license; additional terms may apply.
Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.