Walking in a positive direction

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Who we are

Minderoo Foundation is a modern philanthropic organisation.

We take on tough, persistent issues with the potential to drive massive change.

We incubate ideas and accelerate impact.

We push the limits of what is believed possible.

Minderoo Foundation is independent, forward thinking and seeks effective, scalable solutions. We are proudly Australian, and one of Asia’s largest philanthropies, with AUD $2 billion committed to a range of global initiatives. Our team comprises over 75 employees across seven locations.

We aim to provide a new or unique perspective on seemingly intractable challenges.

How we work

Most of our projects begin with a sense of curiosity – is there a better way?

Through a collaborative, evidence-based approach we strive to solve major global challenges through our eight key initiatives.

We both support and fund early-stage innovation, develop major programs on the ground in communities, and advocate for change at domestic and international policy forums.

Everything we do is driven by a deep care for people and a mission to improve the world for future generations.

We aim to empower both our employees and others to have a positive impact through inclusion, collaboration and, most importantly, kindness. The world needs more of it.

Key initiatives

Perth Symphony Orchestra
Building CommunityWe work with big-thinking partners to identify projects that will benefit arts, culture and community, both in Australia and internationally. Since Minderoo Foundation was established, we’ve supported over 280 partners and counting, across a variety of causes.Visit initiative
Cancer research lab
Collaborate Against CancerWhy can’t we live in a world where cancer is a treatable, non-fatal disease? We believe that through leadership, influence and resources, we can help catalyse a global movement of collaboration to accelerate cancer research and improve prevention, detection, and treatment.Visit initiative
Steve BurnellChief Executive Officer, Collaborate Against Cancer
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Kangaroo Island Begins Recovery Process Following Devastating Bushfire Season
Fire & Flood ResilienceWe want to reduce harm caused by fire and floods by harnessing the collective power of communities, industry, government, philanthropy and the research sector to lift Australia to be the global leader in fire and flood resilience by 2025.Visit initiative
Adrian TurnerChief Executive Officer, Fire Fund
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Uriel Soberanes
Flourishing OceansThe ocean is the largest ecosystem on Earth. It provides the primary source of protein for over one billion people, contains some of the most diverse lifeforms on the planet and is of critical significance from recreational, business and environmental perspectives. As a global community, we must do a better job of helping it regain a flourishing state.Visit initiative
Tony WorbyChief Executive Officer, Flourishing Oceans
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Connect the future, Shanghai, China
Frontier TechnologyWe are motivated by a vision of technology that earns society’s collective ‘yes’ because it empowers people – rather than being dehumanising and unaccountable.Visit initiative
Indigenous Australian Aboriginal grandmother
Generation OneGeneration One’s mission is to end the disparity between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians in our generation. Informed by the recommendations of the Creating Parity Report, our focus is firmly on reforming specific policies and creating sustainable training and employment opportunities.Visit initiative
Shelley CableChief Executive Officer, Generation One
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Research Lab
ResearchResearch underpins and informs everything we do – they are part of the Minderoo Foundation DNA. Our R&I team helps to develop new research on critical areas of impact that are important to Minderoo Foundation’s other seven core initiatives, as well as leveraging the knowledge platforms developed by each.Visit initiative
Fiona DavidResearch Chair
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Boy playing with blocks
Thrive by FiveDid you know that 90 per cent of brain growth occurs by the age of three years? Our education, health and social policy decisions must reflect this. Our Thrive By Five initiative believes a long-term, evidence-based strategy to create a culture that prioritises children will ensure that all Australian kids have the best start to life.Visit initiative
Jay WeatherillChief Executive Officer, Thrive by Five
Jay Weatherill
Walk FreeWalk Free is a global organisation with a mission to end modern slavery in our generation by mobilising a global activist movement, generating the highest quality research, enlisting business, and raising unprecedented levels of capital to drive change in those countries and industries bearing the greatest responsibility for modern slavery today.Visit initiative
Grace ForrestDirector
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Our approach

Early Stage

We start with the challenge “it can’t be done”. We are willing to work outside the system to back unconventional solutions. We devote research teams, pilot programs and data to tough issues.

On the Ground

By identifying the connections between issues, we create new models to push the limits of what is believed possible. We engage people at a local level to co-create solutions.

Policy

We get the right people in the room and share our proven models between philanthropists, faith, business and government leaders to develop policies for long term change.

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Our Values

Courage & Determination

We never, ever give up.

Empowerment

We take action and encourage our team.

Family

We care for our workmates.

Safety

Look out for your mates and yourself.

Stretch Targets

We deliver against challenging targets.

Generating ideas

Always be on the lookout for better ways.

Enthusiasm

We are positive and energetic.

Humility

We show vulnerability in leadership.

Integrity

Do what you say you you’re going to do.

Frugality

Think of ways we can do things better, faster, cheaper, safer.

Annual Reports

operations

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Operations comprises Finance, Human Resources, Information Technology, Legal and Compliance. We are responsible for the administration of best practice processes across all our global initiatives to ensure the Minderoo Foundation runs as efficiently and effectively as possible.

Communications

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Minderoo Foundation’s communication division helps to drive change through dialogues, forums, media, government relations, and public campaigns.

Investments

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We believe program-related investments can stimulate private sector innovation, encourage market-driven efficiencies and attract external capital to philanthropic causes. Our Investments division weighs up returns and social impact to drive positive change.

We are prepared to lose, to come second,
to fail, in order to explore what systemic change looks like. 

Andrew Forrest, The Australian Financial Review Magazine, May 2018

Our history

Andrew and Nicola Forrest founded Minderoo Foundation in 2001, and continue to drive its philanthropic mission today. Andrew remains Chairman of Fortescue Metals Group, the publicly listed company he founded in 2003, which is one of the world’s main suppliers of iron ore. Dividends from Fortescue fund Minderoo Foundation’s ongoing commitment to philanthropy. We take our name from Minderoo Station, the family homestead where Andrew grew up in the Pilbara region of Western Australia. It has been a part of the Forrest family since 1878. Minderoo is an Aboriginal word meaning permanent and clean water.

Our founders, Andrew and Nicola Forrest, pictured with one of the foundation’s newest members ‘Bobbie’ – the Bright Tomorrows Start Today campaign mascot. 

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Our team

With over 90 staff in six international offices, we have the capacity to mobilise expert teams for local and global projects. At Minderoo Foundation we are committed to hiring the best and brightest, those with the passion and commitment to tackle the big challenges.

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Charlotte Gwynn
Project Analyst
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Rupali Vaid
Talent Acquisition Specialist
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Priscilla Hagen
People Adviser
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Chris Thompson
IT Infrastructure Engineer
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Brittany Quy
Research & Policy Adviser
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Emma Reynolds
Senior Cost Controller
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Paul Gee
IT Infrastructure Engineer
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Christin Gillespie
Receptionist
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Rhys Alliex
Researcher & Global Fishing Index Data Management
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Caitlin Farnell
Office Manager

Funding philanthropy
sustainably

Change can take time, at Minderoo Foundation we always think big and plan for the long-term. Our philanthropy is supported by Tattarang and its portfolio of businesses. This integrated model ensures a level of unparalleled sustainability for our philanthropic activities.

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For any commercial enquiries, visit the Tattarang website.

Our climate policy

The science is clear that human-induced climate change is real. Minderoo Foundation accepts the scientific assessment of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).