Richard grew up in the Snowy Mountains. His heritage is the Dabee clan of the Wiradjuri nation. His father taught him the history of the Australian landscape, and his grandfather taught him how the Aboriginal people moved through and respected the country.
Richard completed his trade as a carpenter in 1989, but his working life is now dedicated to protecting the environment from the depredations of modern society, in particular, his beloved Snowy Mountains ,where he lives with his family. Richard works as an Indigenous river guide, running his own ecotourism business in Kosciuszko National Park, Alpine River Adventures. He also acts as an ambassador for the Invasive Species Council, Victoria, to raise the profile of the role Indigenous people have in caring for Country, and protecting it from invasive species. Richard has also been instrumental in creating the Reclaim Kosci campaign, which aims to overturn legislation that protects destructive feral horses in Kosciuszko National Park.