Forrest to donate $65m for WA education

Staff reporters
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Forrest to donate $65m for WA education

Mining billionaire Andrew Forrest. Picture: Sharon Smith/The West Australian

Mining magnate Andrew ‘Twiggy’ Forrest is set to donate $65 million towards higher education in WA.

It is believed it will to be the largest single philanthropic donation in Australian history.

Most of the money will reportedly go towards funding scholarships.

The donation will be formally announced at a gala dinner tomorrow night to be attended by the Prime Minister Tony Abbott, Premier Colin Barnett and Governor Malcolm McCusker.

Last week Mr Forrest launched one of Australia’s biggest private foundations at an event attended by WA’s philanthropic community.

The Fortescue Metals Group chairman and wife Nicola announced at the Give 1 Night at Government House they would combine their Minderoo Foundation and business holdings, known as the Minderoo Group.

The new grouping will be rebranded as Minderoo, named after the Onslow cattle station — meaning “permanent water”— where Mr Forrest grew up.

The foundation will be expanded to include higher education opportunities.

The Forrests have given $270 million through the foundation since 2001 and earlier this year signed a pledge to dedicate most of their wealth to philanthropy.

Mr Forrest has said donating money to charity was a “deeply personal decision” but encouraged businesses to help by doing something important to them.