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Penny Spies

Commander Penny Spies

Commander, Special Investigations Branch, Australian Border Force (ABF)

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Penny Spies is the Commander of Special Investigations Branch in the Australian Border Force (ABF).  

In this role she is responsible for leading teams focussed on counter terrorism, counter proliferation, serious and organised crime and the illicit tobacco taskforce.  Penny joined the ABF in 2016 and has held a number of enforcement roles including leading teams within the 24/7 Australian Border Operations Centre. Penny has also worked as a senior project officer reporting directly to the Deputy Commissioner designing the policy and operational strategy for closing and reopening the Australian border in the COVID-19 Border Measures Group.

Prior to joining the ABF she enjoyed a 16 year career with the Australian Federal Police (AFP) in a variety of roles, including investigative roles in child protection, narcotics, fraud and special investigations, community policing and peace keeping roles.

Penny also served for eight years in the Royal Australian Air Force.

Career highlights include serving a three year posting to Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam as the AFP Senior Liaison Officer, an investigation into a child sex offender that saw her awarded a Commissioners Group Citation for Conspicuous Conduct and undertaking historical murder investigations during a peacekeeping role in the Solomon Islands. 

Penny holds a Masters of Justice (Policing) and Bachelor of Arts (International Relations and Asian Studies).