Since 2001, Andrew and Nicola Forrest have led the Minderoo Foundation to support over 250 community organisations and initiatives and committed $645 million to various philanthropic causes.
Andrew and Nicola are driven to ‘do themselves out of business’ by finding solutions rather than temporary fixes for some of the most challenging social issues facing us today. They look to back individuals and organisations who show leadership and are prepared to go above and beyond in service to their community. In 2017 Andrew and Nicola made the largest donation by a living Australian of $400 million, signalling a commitment alongside government, directed towards creating healthier and more educated citizens, boosting employment and facilitating thriving, robust communities. They are the first Australian signatories to the Bill and Melinda Gates-led Giving Pledge, a global commitment made publicly by philanthropists committing to give the vast majority of their wealth to charitable causes. Andrew and Nicola’s philanthropy covers the arts and culture, community empowerment, early childhood development, modern slavery, higher education and research, environment and the elimination of cancer. Minderoo’s approach covers grassroots community through to system level change, in recognition of the complexity in tackling seemingly intractable problems.
With leading principles of collaboration, measurement, prevention and sustainability, the Forrests bring a commercial approach to the community and not-for-profit sector, pushing us all to think outside of the box. Utilising a model for social change that is based on a mandate to give a hand up, not a hand out, Andrew and Nicola look to innovate and prevent rather than provide temporary solutions. They seek sustainability through the process of engaging with thought leaders and grassroots support, developing partnerships with other stakeholders, proving a clear evidence-based approach, and advocating for systematic, policy level change. This model of community development characterises the values held by Andrew and Nicola, setting them apart in their philanthropic contribution to the local and global community.
The 2017 Philanthropy Meets Parliament Summit brought funders, nonprofits and policy makers together for two days of inspiring keynotes, case studies and challenging conversations about philanthropy’s role in advocating for change.