Richard graduated from the VSF in 1968 and the University of Melbourne in 1971.
In 1969, and from 1971 to 1973 he worked in the Assessment Branch, FCV in both Head Office and the field.
From 1973 to 1985 he was a Fire Research Officer at Stawell and then the Fire Research Officer in the Division of Forest Protection.
In 1985 he moved to Traralgon as the Assistant Regional Manager, Public Lands Traralgon, and then the Central Gippsland, Region of CFL. He was the Regional Manager for a short period in Benalla in 1988,before becoming Regional Manager, Bairnsdale.
In 1991 he moved to Melbourne and from that time in the various agencies that followed CFL, he was head of the Forests Service until 1998, and during that time a Member of the LCC and the Board of the CFA. From 1998 until retirement in mid-2001 he was Deputy Secretary, Operations in the Department of Natural Resources and Environment.,