We remember Rear Admiral Ian Richards AO RAN

15 Nov 2022

We remember Rear Admiral Ian Richards AO RAN featured image

The Trust was saddened to learn of the passing of Ian Richards AO RAN.

Rear Admiral Ian Richards was the third CEO of the Churchill Trust, serving in that role from 1984 to 2000. Ian was appointed a life member of the Trust in 1998.

Ian was married to Jill, and they had six children between them. After Ian’s retirement from the Churchill Trust, Ian and Jill moved to 100 acres at Burra, near Canberra. Alongside his family and career, Ian Richards enjoyed tennis, gardening and skiing. Ian will be sadly missed by all.

Early career

Ian Richards was born in Adelaide in 1930. He joined the Royal Australian Navy in 1944, training as a Cadet Midshipman at the Royal Australian Naval College at Flinders, Victoria. After graduating he spent four years training at sea and ashore mainly in Europe and Asia.

In 1951 he served in the Korean War and for the remainder of the 1950s and early 1960s he was at sea, seeing service in the Mediterranean, which was is in his opinion ‘the world’s most fascinating waterway and in Asia in the Australian Strategic Reserve and SEATO. He also did courses in navigation in the United Kingdom in 1954 and 1958.

Ian Richards was Executive Officer and Captain of HMAS Perth, the first Australian guided missile destroyer to be built and commissioned in the United States. He was Captain of JMAS Stuart and the Third Australian Destroyer Squadron from 1972 to 1973, Director of Naval Plans in 1976, Aircraft Carrier Project Director in 1977 and the Australian Naval Representative in the UK in 1987-80.

Richards is a graduate of the Royal College of Defence Studies in London (1978) and the University of Queensland where he gained a Bachelor of Economics (1976).

Ian leads the Churchill Trust

After more naval roles in the early 1980s he retired from the Navy and joined the Churchill Trust as its CEO.

One of the improvements he made to the Churchill Trust was financially. It was clear to Richards that measures should be taken to change the Trust’s financially parlous position. He actively sought sponsors and part-sponsor arrangements with a variety of organisations. In doing so he was successful in strengthening the financial position of the Trust.

A significant figure in the life of the Trust, having led the organisation for some 16 years up until the year 2000, Ian was instrumental in shaping the organisation through this period in history through the 1980s and 1990s.

William Beggs’ letter to Ian Richards on Ian’s retirement gives an indication of some of his qualities:

“On behalf of the Victorian Regional Committee of the Churchill Trust, thank you for the wonderful way you have administered the Trust during the past sixteen years. Your attention to detail in every way together with your dogged determination to reduce administrative costs and keep them at a low level is an inspiration to us all.

The Churchill Trust is a very rewarding organisation to be involved with because it gives so many Australians a chance to better their lives and advance their careers. It is also rewarding because it is so professionally run and this is all due to you and the wonderful group you head up.”

In remembrance of Rear Admiral Ian Richards AO RAN the Trust offers our deep condolences.

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