Forrests donate $655m to foundation

Mining magnate Andrew Forrest and wife Nicola have donated $655 million to their philanthropic foundation.

Minderoo Foundation now has more than $1.5 billion in total donations from the couple and has supported 280 projects globally since its 2001 inception.

The $655 million donation was made over the course of six months in installments and is in response to the need to address some of the world's most urgent and complex challenges, the foundation said.

"The Asia Pacific region is home to more high-net-worth individuals than anywhere else in the world. I call on them to join us in committing the same leadership, enthusiasm and purpose that created their wealth, to the causes they are passionate about," Andrew Forrest said.

"It is time we came together humbly and courageously to build a culture of philanthropy in the Asia Pacific region and collaborate for change."

Minderoo Foundation co-founder and director Nicola Forrest added: "The $400 million donation we announced in 2017 gave us the ability to scale-up our existing initiatives and plan ahead.

The funding will go towards new and existing initiatives in five key areas including research collaboration to fight cancer especially childhood cancer and maximizing early childhood development from conception to the age of five.

It will also fund initiatives in eliminating global human rights abuses especially modern slavery, international advanced education scholarships and optimizing ocean health.

Minderoo's funding in Australia is dedicated to building stronger communities through arts, culture and community programs and driving equality for vulnerable Australians through early childhood program and providing them pathways to meaningful training and employment.

Earlier this year, Minderoo appointed former NAB chief customer officer Andrew Hagger as its chief executive of both the foundation and the investment arm, after he left the bank following the Royal Commission.

Read more: Andrew ForrestMinderoo FoundationAndrew HaggerNicola Forrest
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