Ray Bird is a product of the bush. His father was a railway
fettler and his mother, a former nurse. Because of his father’s work Ray and
his elder brother and younger sister grew up in small country villages in
His family was one of considerable achievement. His mother
was an accomplished writer of haiku, his brother became a senior officer in the
armed forces and his sister is a significant figure in the aged-care industry.
Ray’s first taste of urban life occurred at Newcastle when
at age 16 he accepted a scholarship to Newcastle Teachers College. He taught in
country one-teacher schools and went on to become a Principal and a District
Inspector of Schools. In 1990 he resigned from the Department of Education to
take up a position as an advocate for prisoners incarcerated in N.S.W. goals.
Throughout his life––in childhood and in N.S.W. schools and
prisons, he has enjoyed a close contact with aboriginal people and their
Ray has always been a solo operator with a highly developed
social conscience. He believes in the power of the individual to make a
difference. Many of his friends see him as an acceptable aberration––a bit of a
novelty who can liven up their barbeques and dinner parties.
Ray lives on the Central Coast of N.S.W. where he is working
on a second novel. He and his wife Pamela have a daughter and a son, four
grandchildren and a family cat named Dhaka.