EP#10: How ASIO managed during a global health crisis – with Mike Burgess

The mission of the hard-working men and women of Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO) is to deliver on the Australian government’s first priority which is to keep all Australian’s safe.

But how do you do that when the rules change?

In this week’s episode of Work with Purpose, David Pembroke sits down with Mike Burgess, Australia’s Director-General of Security the head of the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO) to discuss how the work of ASIO has changed during the Covid 19 pandemic.


How did ASIO adjust its operating model to stay ahead of the threats.

In February, Mike Burgess presented ASIO’s annual threat assessment in which he pointed to a rise in right wing nationalist groups online, the increased activity of extremists recruiting ever younger boys and girls online and the presence of overseas spies in Australia, which is at levels not seen since the cold war.

In this interview, we ask if Australian’s are more at risk or safer as a result of Covid 19 and what life is like working for ASIO.

Discussed in this episode:

  • Are Australians safer because of COVID-19?
  • The importance of partnerships
  • The increase of cyber-crime during lockdown
  • What impact the pandemic has had on protecting Australian security interests
  • Ensuring lawful access to personal mobile phones.
  • The responsibilities of the global tech platforms
  • What it’s like to work at ASIO