A spy boss and ‘giant of the public service’ David Irvine, took his last breath at the age.
Australia’s most senior diplomat and former head, David Irvine, one of ASIO and ASIS, has passed away at 75.
On Thursday, Prime Minister Scott Morrison led condolences after the news of Mr. Irvine’s death, calling him an “exceptional” Australian and public servant in every sense.
Mr. Morrison said in a statement that he is a gifted diplomat, security chief, and chair of the Foreign Investment Review Board; David Irvine was a wise counsel to successive governments,”. This is a very sad day because David’s curiosity, wisdom and judgment strengthened our democracy and security from many years.”
Anthony Albanese, Opposition Leader, also used a condolence motion to honor the “giant of the public service .”He also said that David that he was an extraordinary contributor to our national security, to public service. And He was a gentleman; he was someone who you could always ask for advice from the opposition. He is the person who will be sadly missed.
David’s role in national security-
His various senior roles in the national security space earned him deep respect among the community and people. David’s colleague Dennis Richardson, also a former ASIO chief, reflected on the depth of what Mr. Irvine brought to Australia’s policy challenges. He said about David that his knowledge, intellectual depth, and wit were the equal of any. His contribution to Australia’s foreign policy, intelligence, and security was immense and spanned many decades, being the only person ever to head both ASIS and ASIO.
David as ASIS and ASIO-
David always truly to his country. ASIO director-general Mike Burgess said his “enormous contribution” had kept the country safe. He said that he mentored many intelligence professionals throughout his career, leaving a rich and meaningful legacy.
Mr. Irvine did not retire his entire life after leaving ASIO in what would have been an incredible capstone to any four-decade career in the public service. He always continued to undertake reviews for the government, such as in the 2020 report of David into Defence’s Special Operations Command, in addition to his role as chair of the Foreign Investment Review Board.
Before David’s government career, he also worked as a journalist. Still, he had a traditional approach to his role in leading Australia’s security agencies that reserved his thoughts to the government except for those in his writings, where he focused on Indonesia.
David understood the work in democracies of maximizing freedom and security. In a 2014 speech as he said, ‘I believe the threat of terrorism will be with us into the future, but that it should not be allowed to panic us or dominate our lives.'”
Mr. Irvine died on Wednesday night after a period of serious illness and a recent stroke.