During his government career, John held senior advisory positions in the Hawke and Keating Federal and the Carr NSW Labor Governments. After completing a Law Degree at Sydney University, John served on the staff of Deputy Prime Minister and Attorney General Lionel Bowen from 1985 till 1990 including 3 years as Senior Private Secretary. He then spent four years as a senior adviser to Senator Nick Bolkus, the Minister for Administrative Services and Immigration and Ethnic Affairs.
Between 1995 and 1998 John was Chief of Staff to the New South Wales Minister Carl Scully, in a range of portfolios including Ports, Roads, Transport and Public Works and Services. In this time John worked closely on many of the major infrastructure projects including the Eastern Distributor Tollway and the M5 East Motorway.
In September 1998 John joined P&O Australia as Group General Manager, Corporate Affairs. In this role John was responsible for all public relations and government affairs nationally for the P&O Group.
In July 2001 John left P&O to join the corporate advisory and public affairs firm EMC Consulting as Executive Director specializing in the field of infrastructure development. This included the Thiess, successful bid to build and maintain the $850 million Parramatta Chatswood Rail Link; Macquarie Bank on their successful joint bid for the $2 billion Western Sydney Orbital Tollway and assisting the receiver of the Airport Rail Link Company in their successful settlement of their dispute with the State Rail Authority.
In December 2002 John established John Richardson and Associates, continuing his involvement with the PPP sector as the principal adviser to the successful Reliance Rail Consortium which won the NSW Government’s replacement rolling stock PPP, then the largest PPP in Australia.
Since leaving Government John has advised on government and public affairs for the Cruise Shipping Industry, over the last decade for Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines.