The 25-year-old was one of the most sought after clotheshorses' in the world before she retreated from the catwalk in 2009. She was originally discovered and represented locally by Vivien's Model Management until now.
IMG Models, considered the world's top modelling agency, confirmed Ward is now on the books of its new Australian division sharing a stable with fashion heavyweights Gisele Bündchen, Miranda Kerr, Kate Upton and Joan Smalls.
"She hasn't worked in this market for a long time so to make the move obviously it's because she wants to further her career. She wants to get back into the Australian market," IMG Models Australia general manager Danielle Ragenard told fashion website frockwriter.
"She's an Australian girl and this is an important market for her and she's looking for everything IMG can offer from endorsements to modelling to contracts," she said.
Christine Fox, who heads up Vivien's Perth office and is responsible for scouting and originally signing Ward in 2002, was tight lipped about her deflection but looks forward to her return to the fashion fold.
"I wish her all the very best," Ms Fox told Fairfax.
Ward made her fashion debut in 2003 at Australian Fashion Week before establishing herself overseas where she graced the covers of nearly every Vogue in the world. She was the youngest model in history to appear on the cover of Anna Wintour's American title.
She also fronted campaigns for numerous fashion houses including Prada, replaced Kate Moss as the face of Calvin Klein's top selling fragrance and was in high demand for major international collection shows.
Before hanging up the haute couture to pursue an acting career she graced the cover of Vanity Fair with George Clooney and went on to star alongside Johnny Depp in the Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides.
Her desire to focus solely an acting reportedly occurred following the death of her close friend Heath Ledger in 2008 – the same year she starred in The Black Balloon. Her performance earned her a Film Critics Circle of Australia nomination.
In 2011 she made her stage debut for the Perth Theatre Company in The Ugly One and will next be seen on the big screen in Baz Luhrmann's up coming blockbuster The Great Gatsby.
This article first appeared in TheVine.