Many people watch the wonderful and exciting antics of Agent 007 or 99 or admire the adventures of the witty and charismatic Sherlock Holmes and think that being a spy is an exhilarating, action-packed job, which involves repeatedly preventing evil masterminds from taking over the world, all the while driving fast fancy cars, blowing up buildings and reaping the rewards from the opposite sex. Minus the magical gadgets, the greedy, scar-faced villains, car chases, explosions, eroticism and the whole saving humanity thing, this image isn’t too far off the mark.

Although the life of a spy or secret agent may not be as glamorous as the sex goddess trio, Charlie’s Angels, or as thrilling as the suave and charming womaniser, James Bond, it is still a very challenging and exciting profession for those who are serious about protecting and promoting Australia’s interests.

Qualities Required to Become a Spy

There a number of specific qualities that are essential to become a a modern day spy. The most obvious of these include mental and physical fitness, with memory being a crucial factor. You must also be brave and daring and have the guts to take risks. Other important elements of being spy include creativity and being able to think outside the box, having great interpersonal and communicative skills as well as possessing great acting skills. You will also need to hold strong ethics, have great customer service skills, have an innate sense of curiosity and display a high level of trustworthiness, professionalism and confidentiality.

Being a Spy in Australia

Although the word Spy is a little too comic book for what the real life job description entails, there are jobs within the Australian Secret Intelligence Service(ASIS) that are exciting roles essential in protecting Australian interests overseas. ASIS is Australia’s overseas intelligence collection agency and is responsible for obtaining and distributing “secret intelligence about the capabilities, intentions and activities of individuals or organisations outside Australia, which may impact on Australia’s interests and the well-being of its citizens”.

Intelligence Officer

Being an intelligence offer is a highly unique position that allows skilled persons to plan, develop and manage intelligence operations overseas with the intention of protecting our state interests and even saving Australians’ lives.


Obviously having a high proficiency in one or more foreign languages is key to being a linguist for ASIS – a role which involves the important task of translating intelligence material.

Specialist Officer

Having proficient skills in research and analysis is vital when supporting intelligence operations overseas as a specialist officer.

Security Officer

Security officers must maintain a safe and secure environment within ASIS by monitoring entering personnel, conducting searches and security patrols. It is also important that you you remain up to date with the latest Access Control Security Services in Australia and are well equipped to use a variety of security and surveillance technologies such as CCTV cameras. The security and protection of intelligence gathered at the ASIS is a top priority for the institution because of the important operations and information going on within it. ADACs offers sophisticated monitoring systems, cameras and alarms that are a great example of what security officers would need to use.

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