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Australian magnate donates $298mn to charities

Agency | May 22, 2017 12:35 PM

Canberra,  An Australian business magnate and his wife announced on Monday that they will donate $298 million to fund various charities and for cancer research.

Andrew Forrest, who is one of Australia's 10 wealthiest people and former executive director of the Fortescue Metals Group, has founded various organizations such as "Walk Free" against modern slavery, "Minderoo" to support education for Aboriginals, and "Forrest Research", which provides doctoral scholarships, Efe news reported.

"We had a slightly unsustainable business model previously where we would actually borrow money to give it away," Forrest said on Monday.

"And fortunately, we don't have to do that now thanks to the strength of the iron ore sector, the leadership of this country throughout the ages, and that word I would like to introduce more commonly into the dialogue of leadership, which is courage."

The mining and business mogul was worth an estimated $1.24 billion in 2016, reports Xinhua news agency.

"This is the biggest single philanthropic gift in our history. It is a game-changer in the Australian philanthropic community...It will change the lives of thousands of people here in and around the world," Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said during a reception at Parliament House in Canberra.

The money will be used for research into the fight against cancer, the eradication of modern slavery and the promotion of academic research, among others.

Back in 2013, Forrest and his wife Nicola announced to make a donation $61.5 million to alma mater, the University of Western Australia, making it the single largest donation in Australian history then.

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