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 New South Wales. 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 New South Wales goals. Throughout his life, in childhood and in New South Wales schools and prisons, he has enjoyed a close contact with aboriginal people and their communities.
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 New South Wales 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.