Spy chief Nick Warner alluded to the “carefully cultivated shadows” of intelligence work as he spoke in Canberra today — but he only lightened those shadows a little with his historic speech.

Warner is the Director-General of the Australian Secret Intelligence Service. His speech marks the first time ever that the head of Australia’s overseas spy agency has given a public address.

And he wasn’t giving much away. Warner — who has been at ASIS for just under three years — gave a potted history of the organisation, talked about how the nature of intelligence work had changed in recent times, and discussed threats to security in his speech to the Lowy Institute in Canberra.

Read Nick Warner’s speech here.