Biography - Arthur Lincoln (Lin) Richardson

Lin Richardson, [Birthday party], date unknown, colour transparency 


Arthur Lincoln (Lin) Richardson

10 November 1927 - 1 February 2014

Growing up in Sydney around his parents’ photography business, Lin started taking photos as a child. He was often inspired by the landscape he saw while bushwalking (his other favourite pastime and life-long passion). 

Lin moved with his family to Adelaide, where he later went to university. It was there he met Betty Woods who, in 1949, became his wife. Neither Lin nor Betty finished their degrees, instead both left to work for the Weapons Research Establishment. They had two children Nick (1951) and Joanna (1954). 

During the early 1960s, Lin began working on the first computer for Department of Defence. During this time, the family moved to Boston for six months with other Australians to learn how to maintain the new computer. In 1963, the Richardsons returned to Australia to move to Canberra – the home of the new Defence computer. 

During the first few years in Canberra, Lin had to convert the laundry to a dark room on long weekends. Later a double garage was built so that a darkroom could be set up in one corner.  The darkroom had interior walls of chipboard, water from a garden hose and an enlarger made from an aluminium bowl.

Lin and Betty continued to be active bushwalkers, joining the National Parks Association and the Humanist Society.  They also became more politically engaged, with first Betty and then Lin joining the ALP in the 1970s. They lent one of their old army tents to the Aboriginal Embassy.

Over his career, Lin worked on a range of computing design jobs with firms such as Mica and IE, working at PhD level but without the formal qualification. When Lin retired at 65, Lin and Betty moved to Bhutan for two years, helping local organisations with computing skills (Lin) and teaching (Betty). 

Lin moved from film and colour slide photography to digital photography.  This made it easier to cope when he developed macular degeneration.

Betty died in 2001. Lin makes two further visits to Bhutan.  Lin is able to stay on in his own home due to the presence of Bhutanese students as guests in the house, until October 2013. Lin died on 1 February 2014 in an aged care home in Melbourne. His ashes have been scattered near Betty’s in the ridge below St Mary’s Peak in Wilpena Pound in the Flinders Ranges.