20/06/2013 - 11:21

Forrest steps into WA art role

20/06/2013 - 11:21

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Forrest steps into WA art role

Andrew Forrest rarely steps into the footsteps of others.

He founded Fortescue Metals Group at his kitchen table, launched a major national initiative to create 50,000 indigenous jobs and started a global charitable group to end slavery.

It would appear this entrepreneur, one of Australia’s wealthiest and most influential people, likes to start things from scratch, on his own terms.

So moving into the Foundation of the Art Gallery of Western Australia chair left vacant by property industry player Hamish Beck seems, from the outside, surprisingly un-Forrest-like.

In an exclusive interview this week, Mr Forrest told Business News he believed culture was important to the development of the city and the state needed institutions that outlasted the booming wealth of current times.

He said the art gallery had the rare opportunity to capitalise on the strength of its executive director, Stefano Carboni, who was developing a world-class operation.

Mr Forrest said he and his wife, Nicola, bought art they liked but were not investors. However, they helped the foundation complete the fund-raising drive for its $25 million Tomorrowfund with a $3.5 million donation.

He sees the new role as a way of giving his time and credibility to help others.

“This is an opportunity to support others who are champions in their field,” Mr Forrest said.

 

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