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Leadership

Minister for Defence Senator the Hon Linda Reynolds CSC

The Minister for Defence is responsible for the Australian Signals Directorate (ASD).

Director-General ASD Ms Rachel Noble PSM

The Director-General leads ASD and is responsible to the Minister for Defence.

Rachel Noble is the Director-General of the Australian Signals Directorate. Prior to this, Rachel was the Head of the Australian Cyber Security Centre in the Australian Signals Directorate.

Rachel was previously the Deputy Secretary Executive Group in the Department of Home Affairs overseeing the delivery of the Department’s executive functions including media, ministerial and Parliamentary services, integrity, security, risk and assurance as well as intelligence and the countering violent extremism centre. She previously led the Home Affairs Implementation Team to stand up the Home Affairs Portfolio. 

In 2014, Rachel was promoted to Deputy Secretary Policy Group in the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) which included responsibility for trade, customs, immigration and international policy. This promotion followed the merger of DIBP with the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service (ACBPS) which Rachel joined in 2013 as the National Director Intelligence and Chief Information Officer. 

Rachel has also served throughout her career in the Defence Department.  Her SES appointments in Defence include First Assistant Secretary Ministerial and Executive Coordination and Communication, responsible for providing advice on Parliamentary, media, information management, records management policy, FOI and executive coordination issues; Assistant Secretary Governance, responsible for the overall governance and assurance framework for Defence; Assistant Secretary Americas, North and South Asia, Europe in the International Policy Division, and Deputy Chief of Facility at the Joint Defence Facility Pine Gap.

Rachel also held the position of National Security Chief Information Officer and Cyber Policy Coordinator in the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet and was responsible for improving information sharing among the national security community and coordinating whole of government policy on cyber issues. Rachel received a Public Service Medal for this work.

Rachel has a Masters of Business Administration in Technology Management and a Bachelor of Science with Honours. 

Director-General ASD Speeches and Statements

Principal Deputy Director-General Lieutenant General John Frewen DSC AM

John Frewen is a career infantry officer whose father and grandfather also served in the Australian Army. He completed his secondary education at Xavier College in Melbourne and graduated from the Royal Military College, Duntroon, in 1986.

His first appointment was as an Infantry Platoon Commander in the First Battalion of the Royal Australian Regiment (1 RAR). He subsequently went on to command the Second Battalion of the Royal Australian Regiment (2 RAR) and later the Army’s 1st Brigade in Darwin. 

Lieutenant General Frewen has held a range of senior staff appointments, most notably Military Assistant to the Chief of Army, Chief of Staff Headquarters Forces Command, and Head Military Strategic Commitments in Australian Defence Headquarters.

His operational service includes Rwanda with the United Nations in 1994–95; leadership of the initial regional military intervention force in support of the re-establishment of law and order in the Solomon Islands in 2003 (comprising military personnel from Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, Papua New Guinea and Tonga); time in Afghanistan as both the Australian National Commander in Kabul and, later, in Kandahar coordinating NATO efforts to rebuild the Afghan National Army and Afghan National Police across Regional Command South. Most recently he was the national commander of all Australian Defence personnel in the Middle East, including Iraq and Afghanistan, throughout 2017.

Lieutenant General Frewen is a graduate of the University of New South Wales, the Australian Army Command and Staff College, and the US Army War College. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree and Masters degrees in both Defence and Strategic Studies. He was appointed as a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for his leadership in the Solomon Islands. He was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross for his command of forces in the Middle East in 2017.

Lieutenant General Frewen assumed duty as the Principal Deputy Director of the Australian Signals Directorate on 1 March 2018. From 28 May to 1 July 2019, he additionally served as Head of the Australian Cyber Security Centre until the incumbent, Rachel Noble, assumed the role.

ASD organisation chart

ASD organisational structure at March 2020: Director-General, Ms Rachel Noble PSM; Principal Deputy Director-General, LTGEN John Frewen; Head Australian Cyber Security Centre, Ms Abigail Bradshaw CSC; Deputy Director-General Sigint and Network Operations, Ms Linda Geddes; Deputy Director-General Corporate and Capability, Ms Hazel Bennett.

Minister of Defence Senator the Hon. Linda Reynolds CSC
points to:
Director-General  Ms Rachel Noble PSM
points to:
Principal Deputy Director-General LTGEN John Frewen DSC AM
Head Australian Cyber Security Centre Ms Abigail Bradshaw CSC
Deputy Director-General SIGINT and Network Operations Ms Linda Geddes
Deputy Director-General Corporate and Capability Ms Hazel Bennett