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Aliens, Spies and Conmen

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by Dave Walsh (subscribe)
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Update May 12th 2013
The first session was completely overbooked, so a second session is now available on Thursday 30 May, 1.302.30pm. Bookings essential!

What do they know about me?
espionage, petrov affair, asio, asis, national archives, security services, communism, about time, history festival
A Security Service Dossier

Most people know that Australia has its own spy and security services called ASIO and ASIS.

Since 9/11 these agencies have grown massively in size and have widened the scope of their activities. The bombing of the World Trade Centre caused enormous growth in security services world wide, their budgets, and the pervasiveness of their activities.

But even 50 years ago ASIO was active because of the perceived threat of Communism. The Petrov Affair was just one example of how active the spy agencies were.

The story of the defection of the Petrovs caused headlines in Australia for weeks, and the ramifications of it would impact on the Australian political system for decades afterwards. It was a significant factor in the Liberal Party retaining government for 23 years until Labor won the 1972 Federal election.

The Petrov defection resulted in continuing surveillance operations on the Russians and their suspected supporters in Australia.

Of course the security agencies kept incredibly detailed files, and the National Archives was were the files went after they were no longer required by ASIO.

As part of the About Time History Festival, the Archives are holding a seminar to explain what a security dossier contained, and provide interesting insights into the the intriguing world of 20th century espionage.

This seminar, presented by Sara King, will cover a wide range of subjects including internment, national security and fraud with a particular focus on those records relating to South Australia.

The seminar is free, and will be held in the National Archives of Australia offices in Leigh St Adelaide on Thursday 30 May 2013 from 11am - 12pm.

Bookings are essential as numbers will be limited.

The National Archives is also holding Shake Your Family Tree in April.

As with all About Time activities you should book early, as the more popular events are quickly booked out.

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Why? See what the spies say
When: 11am - 12pm
Phone: (08) 8204 8787
Where: 26 28 Leigh Street Adelaide SA 5000
Cost: Free
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