Sharon Bird

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The Honourable
Sharon Bird
Member of the Australian Parliament
for Cunningham
Assumed office
9 October 2004
Preceded by Michael Organ
Minister for Regional Development
In office
1 July 2013 – 18 September 2013
Preceded by Anthony Albanese
Succeeded by Warren Truss
Personal details
Born (1962-11-15) 15 November 1962 (age 53)
Wollongong, New South Wales, Australia
Nationality Australian
Political party Australian Labor Party
Alma mater University of Sydney
University of Wollongong
Occupation Teacher

Sharon Leah Bird (born 15 November 1962) is an Australian politician. Bird is an Australian Labor Party member of the Australian House of Representatives, representing the Division of Cunningham in New South Wales since the 2004 election. Bird has been the Shadow Minister for Vocational Education since October 2013.

Background and early career[edit]

Bird was born in Wollongong, and was educated at the University of Sydney and the University of Wollongong. She was a TAFE and high-school teacher prior to entering politics. She worked as an electorate officer for Colin Hollis, the member for the adjoining seat of Throsby, and was then a Senior Project Officer with the New South Wales Department of Juvenile Justice. Bird was a member of the Shellharbour Council between 1991 and 1995.[1]

Political career[edit]

Bird first contested the seat of Cunningham at the 2002 by-election held following the resignation of Labor's Stephen Martin. Despite Bird polling 38.13% of the primary vote, the Australian Greens' Michael Organ won the seat on a two-party-preferred basis.[2][3]

Bird contested Cunningham again in the 2004 general election. Although she took a large early lead, she was unable to secure victory until Organ was eliminated and his preferences flowed overwhelmingly to her, allowing her to win on the 10th count.[4]

On 2 March 2012 Bird was appointed as Parliamentary Secretary for Higher Education and Skills,[5] and was promoted as Minister for Higher Education and Skills in a rearrangement of the Second Gillard Ministry on 25 March 2013.[6] In July 2013, Bird was appointed as the Minister for Regional Development, the Minister for Road Safety and the Minister for Regional Communications in the Second Rudd Ministry.[7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "The Hon Sharon Bird MP". Senators and Members. Parliament of Australia. Retrieved 1 April 2013. 
  2. ^ Bennett, Scott (11 November 2002). "The Cunningham by-election 2002". Parliament of Australia. 
  3. ^ Green, Antony (19 November 2007). "Cunningham – Federal Election 2007". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 
  4. ^ House of Representatives 2004 – Cunningham, Australian Electoral Commission, 2005
  5. ^ "Changes to the Ministry". Press office (Press release). Prime Minister of Australia. 2 March 2012. Retrieved 18 March 2012. 
  6. ^ "Changes to the Ministry". Press office (Press release). Prime Minister of Australia. 25 March 2013. Retrieved 1 April 2013. 
  7. ^ "Second Rudd Ministry" (PDF). Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet. Commonwealth of Australia. 1 July 2013. Retrieved 5 July 2013. 

External links[edit]

Parliament of Australia
Preceded by
Michael Organ
Member for Cunningham
Political offices
New ministerial post Minister for Higher Education and Skills
Succeeded by
Brendan O'Connor
as Minister for Skills and Training
Preceded by
Catherine King
Minister for Road Safety
Succeeded by
Office abolished
Preceded by
Catherine King
as Minister for Regional Services, Local Communities and Territories
Minister for Regional Communications
Succeeded by
Malcolm Turnbull
as Minister for Minister for Communications
Preceded by
Anthony Albanese
as Minister for Regional Development and Local Government
Minister for Regional Development
Succeeded by
Warren Truss
as Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development