Dr Matthews is the former Deputy Director-General of the Strategic Development Division at NSW Health. Until June 2007, Richard carried a dual role as Deputy Director-General NSW Health and Chief Executive of Justice Health. Richard was also the Chair of GPET until 2014.
He commenced his career in general practice and was in full time practice from 1979 until 1998. He developed a special interest in drug and alcohol and worked for many years at St. Vincent’s Hospital Rankin Court Methadone Stabilisation Unit. His association with Justice Health began in 1992 when he assumed responsibility for administration of the Methadone Maintenance Program. In 1993, he was appointed Director of Drug and Alcohol Services for Justice Health, in 1998 Director of Clinical Services, and Chief Executive Officer in 1999. In his role at NSW Health, Dr Matthews had strategic planning responsibility for Statewide Services Development, Primary Health & Community Partnerships, Mental Health, Drug and Alcohol, Inter-government & Funding Strategies, Chronic Disease, Rural Health initiatives, Child & Youth Health and the national health reform. The role included active support of the General Practice Ministerial Council.
On 14 June 2010 Dr Matthews was awarded the Member of the Order of Australia for service to the health sector through leadership roles in the areas of service development, primary health care, mental health, and drug and alcohol policy. He is currently on the boards of the NeuRA (Neuroscience Research Institute), Deputy Chair Alzheimer’s Australia and National Board Director of Calvary Healthcare. Dr Matthews is a member of HREC for Justice Health and member of the Advisory Board for the Centre for Health Brain Aging (CHeba).