Richard holds a diploma in Applied Agricultural Science from Roseworthy Agricultural College in South Australia. He has undertaken courses in equine nutrition & waste management (Winston Churchill Fellowship 2 months in America, 1 month in Ireland 1977), and in tropical mushroom production (UNESCO course at University of Hong Kong 1977). He participated in the Global Management Approach to Community Social, Economic and Environmental Development Programme courses.

He has won college awards for livestock handling, public speaking, practical application to field work, and contribution to sports management. His background is in agriculture development and programme management. He has worked in development for 25 years, first in Australia (as the Technical and Admin Manager (OIC) of the Government Coastal Plains Agriculture Research Station, Darwin NT) then in Ireland (as Project Officer then Programmes Manager for Gorta) with numerous field assignment in Africa, the first of which was in Papua New Guinea at the Warrapalpal agricultural training farm, West Sepik Provence, from 1989 to 1991 managing a village agriculture training centre.

Richard has particular expertise and interest in the area of community development at grassroots level and rural livelihoods enhancement. He has prepared grant applications for EU funding and Irish Aid, and a variety of local grant schemes. He has worked on developing project application and reporting forms and assisted local partners in preparing their submissions and complying with relevant requirements. He developed the first Project Registry in Gorta and initial procedures for programmes operations. Richard also project managed all country portfolios ahead of a team being established, and dealt with financial reporting.

In Gorta he manages the country portfolios of Malawi, Zambia, Tanzania, South Africa, The Gambia, Nigeria and Eritrea. His technical expertise offers a key contribution particularly in the areas of capacity and capability building for local groups, partnership development, technical advice in agriculture development, livestock management and livelihood opportunities development, vocational training, erosion control, water management, south-south cooperation, M&E, and credit scheme development. He has enhanced partner exchange visits and knowledge sharing among local groups.

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