Andrew Forrest, AKA ‘Twiggy Forrest’ is an Australian businessman who made his billions exporting minerals.
Forrest started his first mining company, Anaconda Nickel (now called Minara Resources) in 1994, nine years later, he founded Fortescue Metals Group, which mines and ships iron ore to China.
He was Australia’s richest man in 2008 when his net worth peaked at $12.7 billion. Then, in 2011 he stepped down from his position as CEO to put more focus on philanthropic endeavours.
In 2013, Forrest and his wife Nicola became the first Australians to make Gates’ and Buffet’s Giving Pledge. The couple stated that, “We hope to help empower individuals and families currently suffering the despair of poverty, slavery and the lack of opportunity for themselves and their children. We feel that if we all do whatever we can with whatever we have, large or small, then each of us will help make our world a more equitable and positive environment for others to thrive in.”
Australia’s biggest philanthropist, he made the country’s largest-ever donation in 2017, A$400 million, to areas such as education, indigenous communities and cancer research.
Forrest is well known for his dedication to ending the issue of indigenous disadvantage in Australia and alongside a former politician Forrest launched the Australian Employment Covenant, which campaigns to have businesses hire indigenous Australians. However, he has long opposed welfare dependency for indigenous Australians.
The majority of his charitable causes function through The Minderoo Foundation which focuses on finding a cure for cancer, ending disparity, eliminating modern slavery and building communities.
A jack of all trades, Forrest was a one-time stockbroker and keen amateur boxer. He has also made recent forays into the meat industry after acquiring meat processing company Harvey Beef in 2014, the largest exporter of beef in Western Australia.