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.