Following the money trail
Following the money trail


Following the money trail

Macquarie University graduate Stephen Dametto is indeed following the money trail. But it’s not what you think. Mr Dametto leads the Australian Federal Police’s Terrorism Financing Investigations Unit (TFIU), a multi-jurisdictional, multi-agency team that includes the police, financial investigators and financial analysts. The unit does the vital work of advancing Australia’s counter-terrorism efforts by contributing to the creation of an environment that is hostile to terrorism financing both domestically and internationally.

Today, Dametto’s work is more important than ever before. Terrorism funding involves a complex web that requires forward thinking and intelligent investigation, and as Detective Superintendent and Coordinator of the Unit he is central to the development of an all-encompassing plan of attack for stopping such funds.

“The TFIU focuses on providing financial intelligence support to counter terrorism investigations and coordinating and assisting Australia’s investigative efforts in relation to individuals who provide funding to terrorists,” he explains.

“We also look at disruption options, target development, and building relationships, and also provide education by providing briefing and training opportunities about terrorism financing to private, public and Government sector agencies, both domestically and internationally.”

A law graduate of Macquarie, Dametto believes the University prepared him well for his current role.

“Terrorism laws, and especially terrorism financing legislation, are quite difficult and complex. Being in charge of the TFIU, and at the forefront of using the legislation, the legal knowledge earned through Macquarie University has been invaluable.”

Significant roles like the one he holds are a viable option for many of the University’s graduates, thanks in large part to Macquarie’s Policing, Intelligence and Counter Terrorism School, or PICT as it is commonly known around the campus.

Here, Masters students (M/PICT) have the opportunity to specialise in one of four areas – Policing, Intelligence, Counter Terrorism or Cyber Security. Students may also complete a Master of International Security Studies (M/ISS) with a focus on non-traditional security and regional issues.

Within the Masters course, the Centre offers a unit titled Terrorist Support Networks and Operations (PICT837) where students focus on terrorist fundraising and funds transfer mechanisms though the use of case studies and court transcripts that map the modus operandi of terrorist financing and transfer operations.

This all leads to unmatched career opportunities for graduates according to PICT lecturer Shanaka Jayasekara.

“We believe students have a wide spectrum of employment opportunities after completing a postgraduate award with PICT,” says Jayasekara. “Many of our students have found interesting careers in state and federal agencies involved in security, intelligence and law enforcement.

“We also have students that have found employment in international organisations and the private security industry.

“The most important thing with the PICT Masters is that it gives students the opportunity to develop a specialisation that no other comparable program in Australia offers,” he adds. When PICT graduates are considered for employment, they not only have a Masters, but also a specialisation, which is an added advantage over others.”

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