Vale Richard Williams OAM
13 August 2015 at 10:15 am
The corporate and charity sectors are mourning the passing of business entrepreneur, philanthropist and serial volunteer, Richard Williams OAM who has died in Melbourne after a long battle with cancer.
Richard Williams was an accomplished businessman who used his position in the community to leverage opportunities to raise very signi?cant funds for a number of causes and charities, most notably the Royal Children’s Hospital.
In 1966, he and his wife Sandra started the Cha Cha Club (Cha stands for Children's Hospital Appeal) and in 1969 he was a founding member of the RCH Pied Pipers which has raised almost $7 million for the Royal Children’s Hospital Good Friday Appeal.
The Deputy Director of the Good Friday Appeal, Emoke Bakacs described Williams as trustworthy, influential, respectful and compassionate and a human ‘teledex’ – memorising important contact numbers for people who could help a cause!
“Richard told everyone he started to help the RCH because he was a patient as a lad (when he severed his fingers) but we believe helping others was ingrained in Richard’s DNA,” Bakacs said.
“Richard has been influential and pivotal in the ongoing development of the Pied Pipers encouraging his business associates and friends to be involved and to contribute to the cause.
“He has successfully mentored the younger members of the Club, preserving the way forward and ensuring the succession of the group.
“He is the embodiment of what one person can achieve for the greater good, in this case, ensuring that the present and future patients attending the Royal Children’s Hospital receive the best medical care and treatment available.”
Since 2010 Williams has been a board member of Life Education, which educates children about issues such as drug and alcohol abuse and nutrition.
A former owner of six RetireInvest financial planning franchises, he was part owner, with son Martin, of financial consultancy evolveone80.
At a recent tribute night to celebrate his life and community work, Williams said his charity work gave him satisfying logistical challenges and he loved encouraging others to get involved.
Williams was also Vice President of the Tally Ho Fitness Group. He completed seven Melbourne Marathons and was honoured to be an Olympic Torch carrier for the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games.
Williams was awarded the Order of Australia Medal in 2012 for his services to community and the Royal Children's Hospital.