The Office of National Intelligence (ONI) has marked International Women’s Day by celebrating the achievements of three trailblazing women in the National Intelligence Community (NIC), known as the “Garage Girls”.

ONI’s Deputy Director-General – Intelligence, Nina Davidson, acknowledged the contributions that the “Garage Girls” - a group of Australian Women’s Army Service personnel - made during World War II.

The “Garage Girls” worked tirelessly to collect and decode Japanese military communications, while based in a garage behind the Central Bureau Headquarters in Brisbane – the NIC agency today known as the Australian Signals Directorate (ASD).

 “They did really important work through the Second World War. At that time, it was secret and hidden, but now, we are able to recognise their contribution,” Ms Davidson said.

On 26 January 2023, three of the “Garage Girls” were awarded the Australian Intelligence Medal in recognition of their outstanding service.

The NIC, which ONI leads, has made significant strides in promoting gender equality, recognising the importance of a diverse and inclusive workforce.

“Women play an essential role in intelligence and security, ensuring that different perspectives and skills are utilised to achieve our mission to protect and advance Australia’s interests”, said Ms Davidson.

Ms Davidson said International Women’s Day was an important opportunity to advocate for gender equality, the rights of women and girls around the world, recognising the talents and skills they contribute, while acknowledging the challenges that still need to be overcome.

“The Garage Girls leave a powerful legacy and are an example of the important contributions made by women to the National Intelligence Community. Let us continue to work towards a future where women are valued, respected, and empowered to achieve their full potential,” said Ms Davidson.

8 March 2023

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