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Every day of our lives we talk to strangers on the phone or email and sometimes forget that these people are very special. They live a life just like you, have a family, friends and a life story that in some cases could be made into a movie or a good book. Often you work day in and day out with people that you never really “know”.

Well to change that we launched a series of articles called “Meet the Team”. Our company tries very hard to get to know all our customers and now we would like our customers to know and understand exactly who we are and what we do. To assist this process we share the stories of our team members. The people who make up Rochele Painting are the most important part of our business. Their stories deserve to be shared and enjoyed.

We would like to introduce Charles (Charlie) Richards. He was born in 1956 in the town of Bloxwich in the Borough of Walsall in the West Midlands of England! At this time Walsall was a typical working class area which formed part of an area called the “Black Country”. Some say it got this name due to the high level of air pollution from the intense heavy industry such as iron foundries and steel mills that used coal to fire their furnaces throughout the 1800’s.

Charlie left school at the age of 15 and started work as a painters apprentice. In the last 2 years of his apprenticeship he attended the Walsall School of Art for 1 day a week to study for his City & Guilds. The local authority at the time thought painters should study at the school of art instead of the local tech college. This suited Charlie because he knew it would look much better on his resume.

In 1976 and at the end of the 2 years, Charlie gained his City & Guilds certificate and passed with distinction. At this time the British Decorator’s Association had a trophy called the Rosebowl which was awarded to the student with the highest marks in the Midlands. Charlie and one other student from another collage tied for first place. However it was Charlie alone that was deemed to be the recipient of the Rosebowl.

In 1977 Charlie decided to emigrate to Australia and sent away for the relevant forms which came back along with a list of trades that were needed at the time. Painters unfortunately were not on the list. In 1978 Charlie met his wife Jo so emigration to Australia took a back seat to falling in love.

Charlie and Jo got married in July 1981 and came out to Australia for only 6 months. After seeing Australia first hand (or at least the small country town of Biloela) Charlie had decided that they definitely wanted to live here. Unfortunately Jo wasn’t as keen at the time so on returning to the UK, Australia was put on the back burner yet again.

Charlie and Jo had 3 sons in England (Charlie, Adam and Thomas) between the years of 1982 and 1988. However, a recession in the UK, combined with a really bad winter prompted a slowing in work. After some convincing, Charlie’s wife agreed to give Australia a go, on the condition that after 12 months they could return to the UK if they were unhappy. It turned out to be 3rd time lucky!

The family emigrated to Australia in 1991, settling in Brisbane and haven’t looked back. They became citizens in 1995 and started to work for Rochele Painting in 2000. According to Charlie, “life is good”!