Mining magnate Andrew ‘Twiggy’ Forest has become the first Australian to sign a “giving pledge” started by billionaires Warren Buffett and Bill Gates. The Fortescue Metals chair and founder has promised to give away at least half his wealth to charity.
Forrest’s wealth is estimated at $6 billion by BRW, meaning he will give at least $3 billion to charity. He joins 12 other non-American billionaires in making the pledge, so far signed by 105 others. Forrest and his wife Nicola wrote in a letter explaining the reasons for their pledge that the least fortunate are “our first Australians, and globally, those suffering the unbearable yoke of modern slavery and forced labour”. This gives some suggestion as to where the Forrests are likely to put their money.
Forest’s largess comes shortly after ETS Securities founder Graham Tuckwell donated $50 million to the Australian National University to pay for undergraduate scholarships. In October last year, long-time WorleyParsons CEO John Grill donated $20 million to the University of Sydney to fund a school of project management.