Alfred Deakin Brookes

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Alfred Brookes
Born Alfred Deakin Brookes
(1920-04-11)11 April 1920
Melbourne, Victoria
Died 19 June 2005(2005-06-19) (aged 85)
Nationality Australian
Occupation Intelligence officer
Parent(s) Herbert Brookes
Ivy Deakin

Alfred Deakin Brookes (11 April 1920 – 19 June 2005)[1][2][3] was the first head of the Australian Secret Intelligence Service, the intelligence agency of the Australian government that collects foreign intelligence.[4] He was appointed in 1952 by Robert Menzies the prime minister at that time.

Early life[edit]

Brookes was the son of Ivy (née Deakin) and Herbert Brookes. His father was a prominent businessman and philanthropist, while his mother was the daughter of Alfred Deakin, the second Prime Minister of Australia.[5][6] He had two older siblings, Jessie and Wilfred. Between 1929 and 1930 he lived with his family in Washington as his father was the Commissioner-General to the United States.[7]

Military and intelligence career[edit]

During World War II, Brookes enlisted with the army in Melbourne with service number VX112158.[2] He was a Lieutenant in the Australian Army, and worked at the Allied Intelligence Bureau in Melbourne. He was the Chief of the Army section in the Far Eastern Liaison Office, which was also known as the Military Propaganda Section or section D.[8]

Brookes lobbied the Menzies government to set up an intelligence organisation in Australia similar to MI6 (the Secret Intelligence Service in the United Kingdom). Richard Casey — the Minister for External Affairs — agreed, and Brookes became the first Director-General of the Australian Secret Intelligence Service until 1957 when he departed public office to work in the private sector.[3]

He named a street "Brookes Street" in Point Lonsdale, Victoria, when he subdivided land which had belonged to his father, Herbert Brookes, into a housing estate.[9]


  1. ^
  2. ^ a b
  3. ^ a b "IGIS annual report". 2005. 
  4. ^ Parliament of Australia Bills Digest No. 11 of 2001-02 Archived 6 May 2009 at the Wayback Machine. of Intelligence Services Act 2001.
  5. ^ "Brookes, Ivy". The Australian Women's Register. The National Foundation for Australian Women. 2009. Retrieved 2009-07-10. 
  6. ^ Alison Patrick, 'Brookes, Herbert Robinson (1867–1963)', Australian Dictionary of Biography
  7. ^ Margaret Fitzherbert Liberal women Federation Press 2004 p126-133
  8. ^ Peter Dunn (2007). "Far Eastern Liaison Office (FELO)". Australian @ War. Archived from the original on 23 June 2009. Retrieved 2009-07-10. 
  9. ^ "Point Lonsdale: Street Names". Bellarine Historical Society. Retrieved 2009-07-10. 
  • Brian Toohey and William Pinwill, Oyster: The story of the Australian Secret Intelligence Service 1989