The AFP began operations on 19 October 1979. The catalyst for its formation was the Sydney Hilton hotel bombing the year before, and a realisation by the Australian government that an organisation was needed to deal with issues such as terrorism at a national level.
Much of the rationale for the formation of a national policing body is provided in the 'Mark Report' which was commissioned by the government after the Hilton bombing. This report can now be accessed online by following the link below.
In 30 years, the AFP has changed dramatically and doubled in size, now with more than 6,000 members.
Our investigations encompass a variety of crimes, from child sex offences to tax evasion, drug smuggling and terrorism. Members work as general duties police in the ACT, uniformed police at Australia's major airports, detectives, liaison officers and in a variety of specialist fields.
In addition to offices in every Australian capital and some regional centres, the AFP also has members working at 31 international posts and 11 overseas missions.
As a national police agency, the AFP is in a unique position to combat transnational crime as it straddles both national and international elements of law enforcement.
It works closely with its partner agencies both in Australia and overseas to combat all forms of criminal activity. The AFP believes a multi-jurisdictional, multi-agency approach is essential to combating crime and in responding to emergency situations such as bushfires, tsunamis and other natural disasters.
It is also involved with helping to develop law enforcement capabilities for police agencies in the Pacific region and further afield through the International Deployment Group
The AFP has released an online history as part of its 30th anniversary. The history is available in pdf form via a link below. The document is the first step in what should be a living history: the document will be updated with additional information from time to time as it becomes available. For those who like to hold history in their hands, the work will be available in book form. Email email@example.com for more details.
Australian Federal Police - The First Thirty Years (PDF 5.8MB)
The AFP is a part of Australia's national story, its history bound up with the major events that have changed our lives. A short video outlining some of these events and the AFP can be accessed via the link below. But one thing that does not change is the loyalty, dedication and commitment of the men and women who make up the AFP.
To find out more about our members, history and AFP operations please follow the links below.
Learn more about the AFP and its history: