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BIRD, the Hon. Sharon LeahBiography for BIRD, the Hon. Sharon Leah

Member for Cunningham (NSW)

Australian Labor Party

Parliamentary Service

Elected to the House of Representatives for Cunningham, New South Wales, 2004, 2007, 2010, 2013 and 2016.

Parliamentary Positions

Member, Speaker's Panel from 18.2.08 to 13.3.12 and from 11.10.16.

Ministerial Appointments

Parliamentary Secretary for Higher Education and Skills from 5.3.12 to 25.3.13.

Minister for Higher Education and Skills from 25.3.13 to 1.7.13.

Minister for Regional Development from 1.7.13 to 18.9.13.

Minister for Regional Communications from 1.7.13 to 18.9.13.

Minister for Road Safety from 1.7.13 to 18.9.13.

Committee Service

House of Representatives Standing: Education and Vocational Training from 2.12.04 to 17.10.07; Education and Training from 19.2.08 to 19.7.10 (Chair from 13.3.08 to 19.7.10); Education and Employment from 25.2.14 to 26.3.15; Transport and Regional Services from 2.12.04 to 17.10.07; Economics, Finance and Public Administration from 7.2.07 to 17.10.07 (Chair from 1.3.07 to 17.10.07) ; Employment and Workplace Relations from 19.2.08 to 19.7.10; Procedure from 19.2.08 to 14.3.12; Infrastructure and Communications from 25.10.10 to 14.3.12 (Chair from 27.10.10 to 14.3.12); Infrastructure, Transport and Cities from 15.9.16.

House of Representatives Select: Intergenerational Welfare Dependence from 30.5.18.

Joint Standing: Treaties from 25.10.10 to 14.3.12; Broadcasting of Parliamentary Proceedings from 15.9.16.

Joint Statutory: Broadcasting of Parliamentary Proceedings from 4.12.13 to 9.5.16.

Parliamentary Party Positions

Shadow Minister for Vocational Education from 18.10.13 until 23.7.16.

Party Positions

Various ALP local executive branch positions from 1992.

Member, ALP Administrative Committee (NSW) 1998-99.


Born 15.11.1962, Wollongong, NSW.

Qualifications and Occupation before entering Federal Parliament

BA (Syd), DipEd (Wollongong).

High school teacher 1985-89.

TAFE teacher 1989-95.

Electorate officer to C Hollis, MP 1995-97.

Senior Project Officer, Dept of Juvenile Justice (NSW) 1997-2004.

Local Government Service

Councillor, Shellharbour City Council 1991-95.


Getting started in business English (with L Runko), Melbourne: Pitman, 1994.


Description: provincial.

Location: the south coast of New South Wales; it includes Balgownie, Bellambi, Bulli, Corrimal, Darkes Forest, Fairy Meadow, Farmborough Heights, Helensburgh, Maddens Plains, Mount Keira, Mount Kembla, Otford, Port Kembla, Scarborough, Stanwell Park, Unanderra (part), Warrawong and Wollongong.

Area: 519 sq km.

Electors enrolled: 111 304 (at 2.7.16).

Industries: tourism, tertiary education, steel production, coal mining, brick manufacturing and textiles.

State electorates: Cunningham includes the New South Wales Legislative Assembly electorate of Keira, and parts of Heathcote and Wollongong.