Where did you grow up?
I grew up (and still live) in a village just south of Grafton at Coutts Crossing. I was born in Grafton Base Hospital in 1973.
What was your childhood like?
My childhood was a rural one. Bus to school, home to feed the livestock, a game of cricket (yes, everyone wanted to bat) or footy in the backyard, ride the BMX up and down the street. Saturday mornings was junior cricket and as a teenager, tennis in the afternoons. Dad worked for the department of ag and Mum worked at the local store and later the hospital.
Any standout memories?
Life in the bush was pretty good. There was a lot of backyard cricket, Nan’s banana cake, making sausage rolls with Pop in the bakery and riding the trains with my grandfather are ones that I will never forget.
I was school captain for Coutts Crossing public school in 1986. Junior citizen of the year in 1987. I’m a life member of the Coutts Crossing cricket club.
What careers/work have you had?
I have worked for the local commercial radio station in Grafton (2GF) where I was program director and breakfast announcer.
I was elected to Clarence Valley Council in 2005–2021 when I didn’t recontest my seat. It was a great honour to be elected Mayor 2008–2016.
What is your life like now?
I’m enjoying campaigning. Even though life is busy right now, I love our weekly family dinners with my parents, siblings, niece and nephew and wife. I’m a social guy who likes to have a yarn, a laugh and catch up with my mates.
How do you relax/unwind?
I still play cricket most weekends. I also like spending time at home in the garden and keeping the lawn down. I’m known to grow a great cob of corn and some beans, but right now my citrus trees are powering.
Why did you go into politics? Is this your first time running?
Politics is all about people and the place we call home, people is the reason.
I want our people to have opportunity, our kids to get a top education, play sport, get a job here and buy a home. I want our people to feel safe and secure, have the best hospitals, doctors and nurses. I have run in a number of local government elections and did previously run in the state election.
What are the three most important values to you?
Honestly, Integrity and a fair go for all. They’ve always been my motto and way of life.
You have the power to change one thing in Australia – what would you choose?
There are a lot of people doing it tough right now, if I could click my fingers and magic happened, I would get every single person back into their home following the floods. I would get every single business back open and operating. The enormity and scale of the floods is not lost on me. There is a long and hard road ahead for many people. Finding housing is a huge challenge for us as a community, it is the challenge of our time.
Contact Richie by email at Richie.Williamson@nswnationals.org.au
IndyNR.com will be publishing profiles of all candidates from the seats of Clarence and Lismore.