Mining entrepreneur Andrew "Twiggy" Forrest remains hell-bent on giving away most of his fortune, with the promise that yesterday's $65 million gift to WA's tertiary sector will not be the end of his family's philanthropy.
Mr Forrest also confirmed he was the anonymous million- dollar donor to the past three Telethons and will again match dollar-for-dollar every donation made during the early stages of this weekend's event.
Yesterday's announcement that Mr Forrest, his wife Nicola and their family will donate $65 million to attract the world's best minds to WA was welcomed in academic and business circles.
Telethon Institute for Child Health Research Jonathan Carapetis said the gift was visionary and University of WA vice- chancellor Paul Johnson said it was historic and would drive economic progress in WA.
At a function at UWA last night, Prime Minister Tony Abbott said: "Andrew Forrest is serving our country twice. First he's building the mines, second he's investing ... not only in his life but in the lives of others."
He said he would like to see more of the country's magnates "outbidding" each other with their philanthropic donations.
The Forrests were given a standing ovation.
Forbes magazine puts Mr Forrest's wealth at $4.6 billion.
The Fortescue Metals Group chief said the act of giving was a "deeply personal decision".
But he encouraged others fortunate enough to have wealth to "use the same intellect and energy they used to create their wealth" to invest in their communities.
The $65 million gift will establish a $50 million Forrest Foundation to fund scholarships and postdoctoral fellowships at WA's five universities. Applicants would be assessed by an expert panel and would be expected to start work in 2015.
The other $15 million would go towards building a "creative living space for rising research stars" to rival the best residential colleges in the world.
Mrs Forrest said the panel would not overlook the arts.
Mr Forrest's philanthropy began in 2001 with the creation of Australian Children's Trust, later renamed Minderoo Foundation after his family homestead in the Pilbara. In the past 12 years, the Forrests have contributed $274.4 million to more than 100 organisations.
They have supported GenerationOne, a national movement to end indigenous disparity through employment, and the global Walk Free Foundation, focused on ending modern slavery.Mr and Mrs Forrest are Australia's first participants in the Giving Pledge movement begun by Warren Buffett and Bill Gates.