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Clare Birgin and John Blaxland take you on a tour d'horizon of their new book, Revealing Secrets: An unofficial history of Australian Signals intelligence & the advent of cyber.

Revealing Secrets is a compelling account of Australian Signals intelligence, its efforts at revealing the secrets of other nations, and keeping ours safe. It brings to light clever Australians whose efforts were for so long entirely unknown or overlooked. Blaxland and Birgin traverse the royal commissions and reviews that shaped Australia's intelligence community in the 20th century and consider the advent and the impact of cyber.

Drawing on insights and anecdotes from the book, they will discuss how signals intelligence and its practitioners have influenced international affairs and continue to do so today. They will explore the secrecy around signals intelligence, along with the need for the right balance of oversight and accountability. Finally, they will touch on what the history of signals intelligence means for Australia and Australians.

Join us for complimentary pre-presentation drinks and nibbles from 5:30pm! Copies of the book will be available for purchase.


Drinks + Nibbles

Join us for pre-presentation drinks and nibbles!

Presentation by guest speakers
Clare BirginJohn Blaxland
  • Clare Birgin

    Clare Birgin

    Clare Birgin’s career in DFAT spanned 30 years, with a focus on national security and intelligence. She had postings in Warsaw, Moscow, Geneva, and Washington DC as the Liaison Officer of the Office of National Assessments, followed by postings as Ambassador in Hungary, Serbia, Kosovo, Romania, North Macedonia and Montenegro. Subsequently she was a Visiting Fellow at the ANU before joining John Blaxland’s history writing team. She has been awarded the Polish Government’s Knight’s Cross Medal and the Benito Merito Medal by the former Polish Foreign Minister.

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  • John Blaxland (Professor)

    John Blaxland


    John Blaxland is Professor of International Security and Intelligence Studies in the Strategic and Defence Studies Centre (SDSC), Coral Bell School of Asia Pacific Affairs at the Australian National University (ANU). He is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and a Fellow of the Royal Society of New South Wales. He was also formerly a military intelligence officer, Head of SDSC and Director of the ANU Southeast Asia Institute. He is the author and editor of several publications on military history, intelligence and international security affairs.

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Q + A

The in-person and online audiences are invited to ask questions for the guest speakers.


National Conference Center
32 Thesiger Court
Deakin, Australian Capital Territory, Australia

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