David Irvine AO

Prime Minister

It is with great sadness that we have learned of the passing of David Irvine AO.

David Irvine was an exceptional Australian and public servant in every sense of the word.

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 over many decades.

He served Australia for over fifty years and held senior diplomatic and leadership roles for the past quarter of a century. Those roles included High Commissioner to Papua New Guinea, Ambassador to China, Director-General of ASIO, Director-General of ASIS, and Chair of the Foreign Investment Review Board.

More recently, he also devoted himself in various ways to training the next generation of defence, security and intelligence professionals.

David had a deep understanding of Australia and the region and the interconnection of diplomacy, security and economics. He also had a deep love of Indonesian culture, expressed through the publication of two books.

He understood the work in democracies of maximising freedom and security. As he said in a 2014 speech, “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.”

In his role as chair of the Foreign Investment Review Board, which I appointed him to as Treasurer, he played a seminal role in bringing new perspectives to bear in the face of changing geostrategic dynamics in our region.

To the Irvine family and all who loved him, I extend the condolences of the nation.

David Irvine AO will be missed.

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