Department of Information (Australia)

The Department of Information (DOI) was an Australian Government department formed during World War II.

Department of Information
Department overview
Formed12 September 1939
Dissolved16 March 1950

The department was established in September 1939 under the leadership of John Treloar, the director of the Australian War Memorial, who remained in the role of departmental secretary until early 1941.[1] It was the first of 17 new Australian Government departments to be established during the war, and was responsible for both censorship and disseminating government propaganda.[2] The department was based in Melbourne throughout its existence, though it established divisions in Sydney and bureaus in New York City and London.[3] The DOI was broken up in 1950, with its functions being allocated between other departments.[2]

Henry Gullett was the first Minister for Information.[4]

The Australian News and Information Bureau (ANIB) was created within the DOI in 1940, based in New York City, with the main goal of informing the United States of Australia's war effort, thereby nurturing and building the relationship between the two countries. The agency later evolved into the Australian Information Service,[5] eventually becoming part of DFAT.[6]

Ministers for InformationEdit

# Name Party Start End Govt
1 Henry Gullett   United Australia 12 September 1939 14 March 1940 Menzies
2 Robert Menzies   United Australia 14 March 1940 13 December 1940 Menzies
3 Harry Foll   United Australia 13 December 1940 7 October 1941 Menzies
4 Bill Ashley   Labor 7 October 1941 21 September 1943 Curtin
5 Arthur Calwell   Labor 21 September 1943 19 December 1949 Curtin
6 Howard Beale   Liberal 19 December 1949 16 March 1950 Menzies


  1. ^ Vickery 2009, p. 46.
  2. ^ a b Vickery 2009, p. 1.
  3. ^ Vickery 2009, p. 42.
  4. ^ CA 34: Department of Information, Central Office, National Archives of Australia, retrieved 9 February 2021
  5. ^ Tebbutt, John (9 September 2016). "Australian News and Information Bureau". Austlit. Retrieved 27 December 2020. Appears in A Companion to the Australian Media [edited by Bridget Griffen-Foley, 2014] pg. 56-57
  6. ^ "Fact Sheet Forty Seven: Australian Overseas Information Service photographs". National Archives of Australia. 2000. Archived from the original on 12 February 2006. Retrieved 12 May 2006.

References and further readingEdit