An Unqualified Success
The career of Allan Percy Fleming (1912- 2001) - teacher, soldier, journalist, trade commissioner, senior bureaucrat, librarian, and counter terrorist - was characterized by the lack of 'appropriate' training. "I was a demonstration," he once remarked, "of the art of how to do things when unqualified." Born in Melbourne, Australia, Fleming embarked on a career in journalism, first for the Melbourne Argus and then the Brisbane Courier-Mail as the lead writer. At the outbreak of World War II, he enlisted in the Australian Imperial Force as a private, rising to the rank of lieutenant-colonel. Post war, he had a varied career, including: a return to journalism * an assignment to reorganize Australia's defense intelligence * trade commissioner in Paris, representing Australia in international trade negotiations * the Commonwealth parliamentary librarian * (most controversially) National Librarian * (post retirement) helping set up Australia's first counter terrorist organization. He left his mark on all his jobs and the affection of all who worked with him. Allan Percy Fleming was effective and innovative, and his legacy endures.
Publication Date: 12/1/2013