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Vale David Irvine AO FAIIA

Published 31 Mar 2022

The Australian Institute of International Affairs (AIIA) is saddened to hear of the death of one of its fellows, David Irvine AO FAIIA.

David Irvine had 33 years of experience as a diplomat in the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs. His career included high level diplomatic postings as High Commissioner to Papua New Guinea (1996-1999), Australian Ambassador to the People’s Republic of China, Mongolia and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (2000-2003). Mr Irvine’s appointments also included Director-General of the Australian Secret Intelligence Service (2003-2009) and Director-General of Security, in charge of the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation. He was the only person to have led both Australia’s foreign intelligence collection agency and its domestic security service. He was also the chair of the Foreign Investment Review Board.

Mr Irvine published two books: Bisma, Warrior Priest of the Mahabharata (1990) and Leather Gods and Wooden Heroes (1996).

He spoke at the AIIA on a number of occasions, including at the institute’s national conference master classes, and he gave the 2018 Chateris oration hosted by AIIA New South Wales. In 2015 the AIIA conferred its highest award, the AIIA Fellowship, on Mr Irvine.