Meet the Team

Richard Bennett

Richard Bennett
Managing Director

“After leaving the family farm and heading to boarding school I entered into the exploration drilling industry straight away,” says Richard Bennett, “and that was 1985!” Strike Drilling’s Managing Director has almost 30-years of exploration drilling experience since first landing a job with a drilling company in his late-teens. Eight years later Bennett moved onto selling drilling equipment and gathered valuable experience on the other side of operations. After a dozen years of seeing the industry from all angles Richard and wife Kylee founded Peak Drilling Services in 2000, a highly successful outfit which was later acquired by the Transfield Services group in 2008. In 2014 Richard founded Strike Drilling with partners Craig Chitty and Clay Schmidt. “It was like getting the band back together!” he says.


Craig Chitty
Safety & Compliance Manager

“I started as a drilling offsider in the bush in ’95,” says Craig Chitty, “and a half-dozen years later Richard Bennett called me up looking for workers at Peak Drilling Services. Through Richard I was offered the opportunity to work in the office, and that side of the business really took off for me. After the sale of Peak Drilling I continued in management roles, looking after water well contracts and successfully completing an oil and gas program in the Cooper Basin.” When the opportunity arose to be a part of the Strike Drilling start-up Chitty leapt at the chance to put his 18-years of field work and management experience, in exploration and water well drilling, to further use. 

Craig Chitty


Clay Schmidt

Clay Schmidt
Operations Manager

“I first worked with Richard Bennett at Peak Drilling Services in 2004,” says Clay Schmidt. “I was a country bloke, flying helicopters in the Kimberley, who came to Perth chasing opportunities. I started at the grass roots level and progressed through the organization. When the company sold I stayed with them and moved into an operational management role. When the time arose to come back and work with the original team at Strike Drilling I jumped at the opportunity, and here we are again! I’ve been in West Australia for a decade now, as long as I’ve been in exploration and drilling, and it’s been a very rewarding partnership .”