Minderoo Foundation set to axe 100 roles in a huge shake-up of Andrew and Nicola Forrest’s philanthropic arm

Adrian Rauso
The Nightly
2 Min Read
Andrew and Nicola Forrest, who last year separated after 31 years of marriage, founded Minderoo in 2001.
Andrew and Nicola Forrest, who last year separated after 31 years of marriage, founded Minderoo in 2001. Credit: Nic Ellis/The West Australian

About one-third of jobs at the Minderoo Foundation will be made redundant, following a sweeping internal review of the organisation by chief executive John Hartman.

Minderoo — founded by Andrew and Nicola Forrest in 2001 — on Monday released an update to its 2030 strategy, which was initially rolled out last year.

It is believed Minderoo’s headcount ballooned to 350 prior to Mr Hartman being appointed boss in the latter half of 2022.

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The West Australian understands about 100 staff will either be let go or have their roles altered in the latest restructure, with several international offices to be consolidated.

In its 2023 Modern Slavery Statement, Minderoo lists offices in Perth, Exmouth, Sydney and the Netherlands, as well as “personnel in different jurisdictions who work remotely”.

It is also understood the changes have been made for Minderoo to boost the proportion of resources directed to beneficiaries from between 50 and 60 per cent to at least 70 and 80 per cent.

Mr Hartman said Minderoo had a responsibility to meet “the ambition and generosity of our founders” and match it with “meaningful change” in Australia, the Asia-Pacific region and around the world.

“Under my leadership, Minderoo Foundation is undergoing a transformation to ensure we create maximum and lasting impact for our beneficiaries, with a higher portion of our corpus directed towards impact,” he said.

“I am committed to increasing Minderoo Foundation’s emphasis on working with our partners – getting more resources out to organisations so they can accelerate the positive difference they make in people’s lives.

“Andrew and Nicola were the first Australians to sign the Giving Pledge in 2013, committing to give away most of their wealth over their lifetimes.”

The pair remain co-chairs on the Minderoo board, despite announcing last year that they had separated after 31 years of marriage.

A month prior to the announcement, the duo donated $5 billion worth of Fortescue stock – equal to about one fifth of their shareholding — to Minderoo.

Minderoo is involved in a variety of charitable pursuits including ocean pollution, modern slavery and university research.

Mr Hartman also serves as chief executive of the Forrest’s private business arm, Tattarang.

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