Mining billionaire Andrew Forrest has donated $65 million to improve the quality of higher education in Western Australia. The record-breaking donation of Mr Forrest is the largest single donation in the history of Australia. He also encouraged other tycoons to share their wealth in philanthropy.
Mining billionaire Andrew Forrest has donated $65 million to improve the quality of higher education in Western Australia. The record-breaking donation of Mr Forrest is the largest single donation in the history of Australia.
Five universities in Western Australia will stand to benefit from the large donation. A scholarship foundation will be established from the $50 million, including the construction of a new residential college at the University of Western Australia.
A gala dinner in Perth will be the venue for the formal announcement of the donation. Australia Prime Minister Tony Abbott is expected to attend the event, together with West Australian Premier Colin Barnett.
Louise Walsh, chief executive of Philanthropy Australia, has confirmed that the mining billionaire's donation was "certainly the biggest" cash donation by an Australian in Australia.
In 2009, Irish-American philanthropist Chuck Feeney donated $102.5 million to three institutions in Queensland.
Andrew Forrest is the chairman of Fortescue Metals Group, a known mining company in Western Australia. He was appointed as the head of a government review to evaluate job programs and Indigenous training.
Mr Forrest said he is hoping that his donation will attract some of the best academics in the world to join the universities in Western Australia. He also expects the $65 million investment to be the best investment he has ever made.
He wanted to see Western Australian universities to excel. He said he and his family had agreed on the donation a long time ago when they began to amass wealth beyond what they needed.
Mr Forrest talked about letting his kids get involved in the decision-making process. He was happy to know that his children agreed with the plan and use the capital they have earned to help "advance the human cause."
He also wanted other businessmen to give back to Australia. He said wealthy Australians tend to "give very quietly." He said there was nothing wrong with that, but he believes if other people will know of their generosity, it will serve as an inspiration.
In May 2013, Mr Forrest's net worth was valued at $3.66 billion by BRW magazine. He is the ninth richest person in Australia.
To contact the editor, e-mail:
Most Popular Slideshows
- Top Ten Richest Americans [PHOTOS]
- A Tribute To Great Actor Paul Walker: Best Quotes From 'Fast And Furious' Films [PHOTOS/ VIDEOS]
- Slideshow: Kate Middleton Looks Ravishing in Black Net Dress, Covers Up Grey [SEE PHOTOS]
- Is Orlando Bloom’s Wife, Miranda Kerr Singing Love Songs for James Packer? [WATCH VIDEOS]