Richard grew up in Melbourne, Victoria, and completed a B.A. at the University of Melbourne in 1977, picking up archaeology as a fill-in subject, and he then worked for the Victoria Archaeological Survey (VAS) from 1978 until 1983. He went on to complete a PhD in archaeology at La Trobe University in 1986. He was a research scholar at the Australian Museum, University of Sydney and most recently at the University of Wollongong.
Richard is currently Director of Core Artefact Research and was a Founding Director of Scarp Archaeology. He has undertaken research and extensive fieldwork in all Australian states. He holds honorary positions at University of Wollongong and Flinders University. His main area of expertise is use-wear and residue analysis. He has published on the function of flaked and ground stone tools from many archaeological sites in Australia, Papua New Guinea, Asia and the Pacific region.