Bird becomes first Illawarra minister since 1990

CUNNINGHAM MP Sharon Bird has become the Illawarra’s first federal minister since 1990.

The last time an Illawarra MP was back in the Hawke government when former Cunningham MP Stewart West was a minister.

Ms Bird was appointed Minister for Higher Education and Skills as part of Julia Gillard’s ministerial reshuffle after the failed leadership coup.

Ms Bird said she was thrilled with the promotion, particularly as it was in an education portfolio. Appointed as the Parliamentary Secretary for Higher Education and Skills in March 2012, Ms Bird was a high school and TAFE teacher as well as a senior project officer with the NSW Department of Juvenile Justice, before she was elected to Parliament in 2004.

About Mick Roberts

A Sydney journalist, writer and historian, Mick Roberts specialises in Australian cultural history, particularly associated with the Australian hotel and liquor industry. Mick has had an interest in revealing the colourful story of pubs, inns and associated industries in Australia for over 30 years. He is currently working on a comprehensive history of the hotel and liquor industry in the Illawarra region of NSW. Besides writing a number of history books, Mick has owned and managed several community newspapers. He was one time editor of the Wollongong Northern News, The Bulli Times, The Northern Times, The Northern Leader and The Local - all located in the Wollongong region. As a journalist he has worked for Rural Press, Cumberland (News Limited), Sydney based, City News, and Torch Publications based in Canterbury Bankstown, NSW. He currently calls the inner-Sydney suburb of Surry Hills home.


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