15/01/2021 - 13:00

Minderoo ups spend to $88m

15/01/2021 - 13:00

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Andrew and Nicola Forrest’s Minderoo Foundation spent $88 million on philanthropic causes in 2020, giving $19.7 million to its Flourishing Oceans initiative.

Minderoo ups spend to $88m
Andrew and Nicola Forrest said Minderoo Foundation stepped up when WA needed medical equipment to fight COVID-19.

Andrew and Nicola Forrest’s Minderoo Foundation spent $88 million on philanthropic causes in 2020, giving $19.7 million to its Flourishing Oceans initiative.

According to the foundation’s annual report, it spent about $13 million more on projects in the 2020 financial year than in 2019, when it distributed $75.6 million.

Of the $88 million spent on projects and partnerships, Flourishing Oceans received the largest amount of funds, followed by Building Community, which received $15.7 million, Walk Free ($11.8 million) and flood and fire resistance ($9 million).

A relatively new initiative, Frontier Technology, which aims to advance education on the impact of new technologies, received $7 million.

The report said Minderoo had net assets of $1.87 billion at the end of the financial year, which increased from $1.35 billion in 2019.

It confirmed the Forrest’s had donated more than $520 million to Minderoo in the past year, bringing their total donations to more than $1.78 billion over the past four years.

Minderoo responded to the events of 2020 and pledged $70 million for Australia’s bushfire response and gave $320 million to fight COVID-19.

The foundation spent $199 million securing COVID-19-related medical equipment for the federal government, which it was reimbursed for.

Using business connections in China forged through Mr Forrest’s iron ore mining company Fortescue Metals Group, Minderoo and FMG secured 164 tonnes of critical medical supplies, five million COVID-19 tests to increase testing across Australia and 20,000 litres of sanitiser.

Minderoo also donated $10 million for clinical trials, community response initiatives and creating data alliances to allow information about COVID-19 to be shared between countries. 

In the foundation’s annual report, co-chairs Mr and Mrs Forrest wrote that the foundation stepped up when WA needed medical equipment to fight COVID-19.

“This process ordinarily would have taken years – Minderoo Foundation quadrupled daily testing capacity in the space of a few weeks,” the co-chairs report read.

“In an unprecedented corporate and philanthropic collaboration, we worked around the clock with the dedicated procurement teams of Fortescue Metals Group.

“It’s fair to say without Fortescue, we would have struggled.

“Instead, within weeks we delivered a dozen A330 airplane loads full of personal protective equipment and medical equipment and installed testing machines right across Australia, achieving the ultimate stretch target.”

In the next year, Mr and Mrs Forrest said Minderoo would create the first vertebrate genome library and make Australia a world leader in climate-induced fire and floor resilience by 2025 with the development of a long-term Resilience Blueprint.

Minderoo Foundation is ranked as the largest philanthropic organisation in Western Australia on Business News Data & Insights, and this years’ increase in donations is likely to cement its position.

Channel 7 Telethon Trust, ranked second on Data & Insights, distributed $36.6 million in the 2019 calendar year.

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