Directorate of Research and Civil Affairs

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DORCA, the Directorate of Research and Civil Affairs was a mysterious and difficult to categorise think tank and possibly intelligence organisation within the Australian Army in WWII.

Set up and headed by the charismatic Alf Conlon, the Directorate's alumni had a huge influence over Australia and the Pacific region post-WWII, especially through the Australian School of Pacific Administration (ASOPA).

DORCA has been described as mysterious, odd ball, bohemian. It is difficult if not impossible to categorise, having clearly involved at least in some sense in intelligence work. That it morphed into ASOPA after the war gives no real insight into its wartime activities.

The Directorate figures in Australian culture in two significant ways, the Ern Malley affair, and as fuel for conspiracy theories about US influence on Sir John Kerr in relation to the 1975 Australian constitutional crisis. Further fuel for conspiracy theorists is that none of the records of the Directorate survive.