Andrew “Twiggy” Forrest and his wife have joined with more than 100 other billionaires around in the globe in pledging to give away much of their fortunes to charity.
The Forrests, with an estimated wealth of close to $6 billion, much of it tied up through his shareholding in Fortescue Metals Group (FMG.AX), have signed up, alongside Virgin founder Richard Branson, renowned investor Warren Buffett and Microsoft founder Bill Gates.
The pledge requires those who sign to commit to giving away more than half their wealth to philanthropy or charitable causes either during their lifetime or after their death.
In their letter discussing the reasons for signing up, Andrew and his wife Nicola, they say that they have chosen to help those who are least fortunate. “In our country, this is our first Australians, and globally, those suffering the unbearable yoke of modern slavery and forced labour.”
The Forrests go on to explain that they will resist the temptation of short term solutions such as cash handouts, preferring instead “to construct long term solutions through collaboration with governments and other organisations.” And add “Our aim is to significantly improve people’s lives and happiness through their own independent sustainability.”
Mr and Mrs Forrest have also flagged education as another key cause.
Other notable billionaires who have signed up include Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, Oracle’s Larry Ellison and filmmaker George Lucas.
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