Ben Chifley, Prime Minister of Australia, sent a directive in March 1949 to Mr Justice Reed of the Supreme Court of South Australia appointing him Director General of Security and charging him with the establishment of an Australian security service. Reed named the organisation ASIO in August of that year and remained its Director until June 1950.
The son of a Methodist minister, Geoffrey Sandford Reed was born in Port Pirie. Following his education at PAC, Reed undertook legal studies at Adelaide University and was admitted to the Bar in 1914. He was appointed King’s Counsel in 1937, acted as a Supreme Court Judge from 1935 to 1937 and was appointed in his own right in 1943, serving until 1962.
Justice Reed was Royal Commissioner into the controversial proposed purchase by the South Australian Government of the Adelaide Electric Supply Company, which resulted in the formation of ETSA. He also presided over the trial of Rupert Maxwell Stuart and, amid great public outcry, was appointed a Royal Commissioner to review the case.