Ms Bird was appointed Deputy Secretary in December 2004, and served concurrently as Australia's first Ambassador to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) from 2008 to 2013.
Before taking up her position as Deputy Secretary, Ms Bird served as First Assistant Secretary, International Division, Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. Prior to this appointment, she was Head, Foreign and Trade Policy White Paper Task Force (Advancing the National Interest), within the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
Ms Bird has occupied positions in the South and South-East Asia Division, International Organisations and Legal Division, Peace, Arms Control and Disarmament Branch, and Executive Branch, of the department.
She has served overseas in New York, Harare and Paris. She has also worked with the Office of the Minister for Trade Negotiations. Ms Bird joined the department in 1980.
Ms Bird holds a BA (First Class Hons), University of Sydney and is a graduate of French Ecole Nationale d'Administration.
Ms Bird was awarded the Public Service Medal in 2012 for outstanding public service in the field of International Relations.