David Irvine

Australian Security Expert
David Irvine
  • Local:

    $10,001 - $20,000*

  • US East:

    $20,001 - $35,000*

  • US West:

    $20,001 - $35,000*

  • Europe:

    $20,001 - $35,000*

  • Asia:

    $20,001 - $35,000*

  • * This specific fee falls within this range. Ranges are presented as a guideline only. Speaker fees are subject to change without notice. For an exact quote, please contact your Leading Authorities representative.

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David Irvine is unique in the history of Australian intelligence, a long-serving diplomat who became the only person to have served as the head both of Australia’s foreign intelligence collection agency and its domestic security agency over a period of twelve years.  His extensive experience in the management of national intelligence agencies in a liberal democratic political system and under the Rule of Law gives him a special perspective on national security issues, including the countering of terrorism, espionage and other covert threats to national security.  It has also required him to manage complex government organizations covering a wide range of disciplines and skillsets.  He has worked extensively with businesses on cyber security issues and with community and other groups focused on the governance of national security agencies and the relationship between national security and civil liberties.

In his 33 years as an Australian diplomat Irvine focused primarily on the countries of the Asia-Pacific region, giving him strong insights into the politics and economics of the newest centre of global economic gravity.  After an initial posting in Rome, he served in Jakarta (twice), Beijing (twice), Hong Kong and Port Moresby.  He was Australian High Commissioner to Papua New Guinea from 1996-199 and Australian Ambassador to the People’s Republic of China between 2000-2003, when he was also concurrently Australian Ambassador to Mongolia and to the People’s Democratic Republic of Korea.

Irvine has a bachelor degree with honours in Arts from the University of Western Australia.  He has an honorary Doctorate of Letters from that university and an honorary Doctorate of Science from Edith Cowan University. 

He is currently a Visiting Fellow of the National Security College within the Australian National University, and at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute in Canberra. Chairman of the Board of the Australian Cyber Security Research Institute. 

Irvine has published two books on Indonesian culture.

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(Note: Topics can be tailored to meet the needs of specific clients; as can the balance between humorous and serious content)

Intelligence Issues

  • National Security and Human Rights in a Democracy
  • Governing Secret Intelligence Organisations in Democracies
  • Spookery without Pain: (i.e. a more light-hearted look at the world of espionage, its paranoias, mythology and actual practice, but also underlining its importance to the security and well-being of our countries and the safety of our citizens)

Countering Terrorism

Is this the Asian Century?

  • The phenomenon of Islamo-fascism and its implications for multi-cultural societies
  • Countering Violent Extremism: Can Western Governments influence again re- assume the task of religious persuasion?
  • Beating terrorists at their own game.

Asia-Pacific Political and Regional Affairs

  • Security in the Asia-Pacific Region (or Indo-Pacific or Asian Regions)
  • The Rise of China (any number of catchy titles to cover the economic miracle of China, its durability and impact on the world economy; the increasing foreign policy assertiveness of China in challenging the United States in the region, etc).
  • The key role of South-East Asia in Asian affairs (including ASEAN)

An ASEAN Economic Community?

  • Perceptions of the United States Role in Asia 

Cyber Security

  • Espionage and Sabotage by Cyber Means
  • Cyber Attacks: State and Non-State Actors
  • Cyber Security: the Threat to Business and the responsibilities of Boards

Lighter-hearted Speeches Based on Specific Themes

  • How Australia (nearly) retained the Ashes in 2015

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