The history of Australia’s oldest official intelligence agency has been unveiled with the release of The Factory: The Official History of the Australian Signals Directorate by Dr John Fahey. The Factory explores ASD’s crucial role in Australia’s defence from the Second World War until the Vietnam War era.
Dr Fahey’s book shines a light on the people who made ASD one of Australia’s key foreign intelligence agencies. While officially established on 1 April 1947, ASD evolved from two predecessor organisations: the Central Bureau (CB) and Fleet Radio Unit, Melbourne (FRUMEL).
The women and men who worked for these organisations conducted vital work decoding Japanese wartime signals and encoding communications to the Allied Forces.
The Factory also explores ASD’s involvement in key events that have shaped our region. These include ASD’s intelligence role in the Korean conflict, Malayan Emergency, Indonesian Konfrontasi and Vietnam War. It covers ASD’s induction as a full member of the UKUSA (or ‘Five Eyes’) agreement in 1953 and the technological advances that put ASD at the forefront of signals and cyber defence.
The Director General of ASD, Rachel Noble PSM, said “John Fahey has brought the real people who are a part of our history back to life. He has taken them beyond the records that they kept of their own actions and activities - to telling us a little more about who they were as people and as leaders - and as characters!”