Chris was born and educated in South Australia, where his family was involved in agricultural engineering and farming. After graduating from Roseworthy Agricultural College, he then joined a firm of agricultural consultants and managers, Hugh Robinson & Co., who was responsible for the development of pastoral areas in South Australia, Victoria and Western Australia.
In 1970 Chris joined the National Australia Bank, with responsibility for developing the banks rural business. He has served as a Board Member of the Rural Adjustment Scheme Advisory Council and other government committees. Chris is now retired and farming in NSW.