The Australian Mines and Metals Association (AMMA) has congratulated mining magnate Andrew Forrest and his wife Nicola for their $400 million dollar donation to philanthropic causes.
The record breaking donation will be used for a range of social and scientific causes including cancer research, equality, higher education and ending modern day slavery.
Founder and former CEO of Fortescue Metals Group, Forrest has made several donations to philanthropic causes; becoming the first Australian to join Bill Gates and Warren Buffet’s ‘Giving Pledge’ where members donate half of their wealth to charity, and launching an anti-slavery organisation.
AMMA chief executive Steve Knott highlighted Forrest’s contribution to the resources industry.
“Andrew Forrest, through his kindness, entrepreneurial spirit and achievements, has been an inspiration to the international resource community for many years,” he said.
“He’s often had to push against the odds in the initiatives and ventures he’s been involved in, showing great resolve and determination. History shows he’s been incredibly successful and should be commended for that.”
Knott added that Forrest has been a major ambassador for the resources sector and played a key role in providing Aboriginal people sustainable employment and business opportunities through initiatives such as VTEC training centres, Generation One and ‘A Billion Opportunities’.
He said the donation “is yet another example of Andrew’s leadership and kindness that will change the lives of thousands of people, helping to fight a number of immensely worthwhile causes”.
“On behalf of AMMA and the resources community, domestically and internationally, I congratulate Andrew and Nicola Forrest on their incredible act of kindness and generosity,” Knott said.
A further $65 million donation was also made to the Forrest Research Foundation, a partnership between all five universities in Western Australia that is based at the University of Western Australia (UWA).
This will be used to double the number of PhD scholars and postgraduate researchers from 30 to 60 and support their research.
“It is hard to overstate the importance of this initiative in terms of increasing the intellectual firepower of Western Australia,” UWA chancellor Dr Michael Chaney said.
“Over time we will be hosting hundreds of the best minds from around the globe and many are likely to stay on after their PhDs and postdoctoral research.”