Economy

Australian iron ore magnate donates $300 million to charity

Australian iron ore magnate donates $300 million to charity

Fellow actor Jack Thompson said Mr Forrest's investment will bring more Australians together and eliminate the artificial divisions within the community.

Aussie resources billionaire Andrew "Twiggy" Forrest has today announced the largest donation to charity by any living Australian - a massive $400 million.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull described the donations as "the biggest single philanthropic gift in our history and the largest donation by living Australians".

It was an act of love that would inspire other Australians now and in the future, the Prime Minister said.

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Forrest's fortune was estimated by Forbes magazine this year at $4.3 billion.

Mr Forrest told Fairfax Media he and wife Nicola would be giving away "a very significant proportion" of their personal wealth.

He reflected on a time where his company had to borrow money in order to give to charity but now "thanks to the strength of the iron ore sector and the leadership of this country", he was fortunate enough to donate straight from the business.

The funds will be distributed across the following areas: three lots of $75 million will be distributed to cancer research, education and early childhood development; and two lots of $50 million will go to the eradication of modern slavery and underprivileged communities respectively.

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"Despite so much of your achievement having been the result of your hard work, your determination and thus your just rewards for your efforts, you've nonetheless recognised that all good fortune comes with an element of fortune and that all of us, no matter how successful, know that if life's wheel had turned somewhat differently, we could be much less well off, much less well situated", Mr Turnbull told the gathering.

Forrest's wife, Nicola the most important part of this donation was showing that philanthropy could be both focused and flexible.

Philanthropy in Australia has gathered steam in recent years, with gambling mogul James Packer in 2014 setting up a foundation to give away Aus$200 million.

In 2013, he pledged at least 50% of his wealth to charity after joining the Giving Pledge campaign launched by USA billionaires Bill Gates and Warren Buffett.

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