Making A Difference

Safe, Secure, and Prosperous

Maria Fernandez (AMP 187, 2014)

Maria Fernandez (AMP 187, 2014) is the deputy secretary of the Intelligence and Capability Group for the Australia Department of Immigration and Border Protection. In this interview, she describes how her department’s intelligence gathering contributes to both the security and prosperity of her country.

“I was appointed to the position of Deputy Secretary of the Department of Immigration and Border Protection in Australia. This department now manages our borders, issues the millions of visas in our country. We facilitate all the good things coming in that help our nation prosper. And we also protect our nation by stopping all of the threats that might affect us: national security, criminality, human trafficking, and illicit drugs crossing our borders.

“The job that I have has responsibility for the intelligence capability and all of the technology that is delivered to our Australian Border Force, which is the operational arm of the department. We deliver intelligence that enables our operations to be more effective to identify threats further upstream before they arrive at our borders.

“The role that my part of the organization delivers is critical; it’s an enabling function that makes our nation more secure and more prosperous, because it enables our organization to be much more effective.

“The threats that we see across the world cross all of our borders—and so as we share information and share our knowledge and our information regarding the threats, its makes us more powerful and more effective.”

(Published March 2017)