Australia isn’t short on billionaires. Some have inherited their wealth, others have made it from scratch. A few have made their money in real estate, several more have made it in mining. Some are at the end of their careers, others are just beginning. The one thing they all have in common is that they’re all filthy rich, they all live Down Under, and they’re all about to have their fortunes revealed as we rank the 10 richest people in Australia.
10. Clive Palmer – Net Worth: $3.8 Billion
Clive Palmer is the mining magnate at the head of a vast empire of businesses, including the Palmer Colonial Golf Course at Robina, the Palmer Gold Coast Golf Course at Robina, Mineralogy, Waratah Coal, the Palmer Coolum Resort on the Sunshine Coast, Palmer Sea Reef Golf Course at Port Douglas, and Queensland Nickel at Townsville. He’s also dabbled in politics, serving as the MP for Fairfax for one term after forming the Palmer United Party in 2013. His current net worth is estimated to be $3.8 billion.
9. Kerry Stokes – Net Worth: $4.5 Billion
Kerry Stokes is a billionaire businessman with a finger in many pies. In addition to holding interests in real estate, mining, construction, and electronic and print media, he also serves as the chairman of one of Australia’s largest broadcast repeating corporations, Seven Network. In recognition of his business activities and philanthropy, he was decorated with the title of Companion of the Order of Australia (AC) in 2006. One of only ten Australian’s to be named on the Financial Review Rich List since its first publication in 1984, he’s now worth $4.5 billion.
8. Frank Lowy – Net Worth: $5.2 Billion
In 1952, Frank Lowy, a holocaust survivor born in the former Czechoslovakia, left Israel to join his family in Australia. A year later, he met another immigrant, John Saunders, and the two went into business together, eventually launching the Westfield Development Corporation. Over the next three decades, the pair grew the company into one of the leading developers in the county. When Saunders left the company in 1987, Lowy took the opportunity to expand into New Zealand and the UK. In 2011, Lowy stood down as Executive Chairman of the Westfield Group to assume the role of non-executive chairman. Now aged 90 years old, he’s worth an estimated $5.2 billion.
7. John, Alan & Bruce Wilson – Net Worth: $5.8 Billion
Up next we have the Wilson brothers, John, Alan & Bruce. In 1958, their father Lesley joined the board of HJ Reece, which at the time was a small listed plumbing supplies company. Over the next decade, he gradually began buying up shares of the business; by 1969, he owned a controlling interest. In 1970, Alan joined the firm as CEO. John and Bruce were later elected to the board of directors. The company now ranks as Australia’s biggest bathroom and plumbing supplies chain. The brothers, who own a majority stake in the business, are worth a combined fortune of $5.8 billion.
6. Anthony Pratt – Net Worth: $10.8 Billion
Anthony Pratt is the Executive Chairman of Visy Industries and Pratt Industries in America. He inherited the business from his father, the late Richard Pratt, who’d developed the family-owned business from a small time concern employing just a couple of hundred people into the world’s largest privately-owned packaging and paper company. Since taking over the leadership of the company, Pratt has continued its expansion. It now employs over 17000 people across Australia and America. His net worth is $10.8 billion.
5. Harry Triguboff – Net Worth: $11.3 Billion
“High Rise Harry” Triguboff is a billionaire real estate magnate who’s made his fortune as the founder and managing director of Meriton. Founded in 1963, the company ranks as Australia’s largest apartment developer and biggest residential home builder. The majority of his wealth stems from leasing property on short or long term tenancies. In 2016, Triguboff was named the richest person in Australia. He’s slipped down the ranking system slightly in the years since, but still commands the very considerable net worth of $11.3 billion.
4. Mike Cannon-Brookes – Net Worth: $14.2 Billion
Shortly after graduating from college, Mike Cannon-Brookes teamed up with Scott Farquhar to launch the collaboration software firm Atlassian. As Forbes notes, they funded it with credit cards – a risky move that’s more than paid off. The company now has a value of over $26.6 billion, with both Cannon-Brookes and Farquhar sharing 60 percent of its ownership. His net worth is estimated to be around $14.2 billion.
3. Scott Farquhar – Net Worth: $14.2 Billion
According to Wikipedia, when Scott Farquhar partnered with Mike Cannon-Brookes to found Atlassian, it was with the aim of replicating the A$48,000 graduate starting salary typical at corporations without having to work for someone else. He ended up getting a lot more than he bargained for. The accidental billionaire is now worth a mammoth $14.2 billion.
2. Andrew Forrest – Net Worth: $20.2 Billion
Just missing out on the title of Australia’s richest person is Andrew Forrest, or “Twiggy,” as he’s often known. Forrest made his fortune as the former CEO (and current non-executive chairman) of Fortescue Metals Group (FMG), the fourth largest iron ore producer in the world. A noted philanthropist, Forrest and his wife were the first Australian’s to pledge the majority of their wealth to charitable causes as part of The Giving Pledge. According to ceoworld.biz, Forrest has a net worth of $20.2 billion.
1. Gina Rinehart – Net Worth: $23.8 Billion
Australia’s richest person is mining magnate and heiress, Gina Rinehart. Rinehart is the only child of Lang Hancock, the founder of the mineral exploration and extraction company Hancock Prospecting. When Rinehart took over as Executive Chairman after her father died in 1992, Hancock Prospecting was on the verge of bankruptcy. Under her leadership, the company grew into the largest privately-owned company in Australia and one of the largest mining companies in the world. Her fortune took a beating during the Australian mining industry slowdown of the 2010s, but rose again in 2020 thanks to an increased demand for Australian iron ore. As of 2021, she’s worth a mammoth $23.8 billion.