The universe has been incredibly generous to some people who made billions from their years of hard work and dedication, and sometimes out of pure luck or simply from being born into money. Australia, meanwhile, is no stranger to billionaires, with more than 30 of them calling Down Under home.
But just who is the wealthiest person in the country? And just how much are they worth? Join us as we count down the 10 richest people in Australia!
10. David Hains
Who Is He? The 86-year-old Hains is the founder of Portland House Group (one of Australia’s largest hedge funds) and a horse breeder (he bred the 1990 Melbourne Cup winner Kingston Rule). He graduated from the University of Melbourne with a BSc in Engineering and started his career as an engineer and corporate restructurer. Today, Portland House Group is run by sons Richard, Stephen and Michael, while his daughter Cathy breeds race horses and his other son Paul is the founder of Aeon magazine.
How Much Is He Worth? $1.91 billion (£1.47 billion)
Fun Fact: Hains took a 9-year hiatus from his career in the 1960s so that he could improve his golf game with the late professional golfer and coach Norman von Nida.
9. David Teoh
Who Is He? Malaysian-born Teoh is the executive chairman of TPG, a telecommunications and IT company he co-founded with his wife Vicky in 1992 after emigrating from Malaysia in 1986. Their four sons have launched more than a dozen start-up companies in clothing, furniture and consumer technology. In 2015, Teoh acquired iiNet, an internet service provider, for a whopping $1.56 billion (£1.2 billion).
How Much Is He Worth? $1.95 billion (£1.5 billion)
Fun Fact: Teoh is notoriously secretive about his personal life and managed to avoid having his photo taken until a photographer camped outside his Sydney home for three days (this is the photo we’ve used above).
8. Lindsay Fox
Who Is He? Fox’s name is synonymous with Linfox, Australia’s largest privately-held logistics company with more than 5,000 trucks across 10 countries, including Australia, China, Indonesia, New Zealand and Thailand. He attended Melbourne High School, a selective-entry state school for boys in years 9 to 12, but quit at the age of 16 due to his lack of academic interest. He started working as a truck driver like his father and, in 1956, founded Linfox. Fox and his wife Paula have been married for more than 55 years and have 6 children together – however, their son Michael tragically committed suicide in 1991.
How Much Is He Worth? $2.8 billion (£2.6 billion)
Fun Fact: Fox enjoyed a moderately successful Australian football career in the late 1950s to early 1960s. In 1979, he served as president of the St Kilda Football Club until 1985.
7. John Gandel
Who Is He? Gandel is the son of Jewish immigrant parents from Poland who operated a corsetry store in Melbourne. He was educated at Melbourne High School and went on to receive a doctorate from Monash University. In the 1950s, he took control over his parents’ business with his brother-in-law Marc Besen and together turned it into a chain of 200 stores. In 1985, he sold his share of the business to Besen to concentrate his career in real estate and went on to build his fortune in shopping centres.
How Much Is He Worth? $3.2 billion (£2.47 billion)
Fun Fact: Gandel bought the Chadstone Shopping Centre in 1983 for A$37 million (£21.2 million), which is now currently valued at over $3 billion (£2.32 billion)!
6. James Packer
Who Is He? Packer is the youngest billionaire on the list. He is the grandson of media proprietor Sir Frank Packer and inherited control of the family company, Consolidated Press Holdings Limited, with investments in Crown Resorts (one of the largest gaming and entertainment groups in Australia) and other companies.
How Much Is He Worth? $3.5 billion (£2.7 billion)
Fun Fact: Packer co-founded movie production and financing company RatPac-Dune Entertainment with American producer-director Brett Ratner and Access Entertainment in 2012. The company has produced movies like The Lego Movie, Horrible Bosses 2, Mad Max: Fury Road and Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.
5. Anthony Pratt
Who Is He? Born in Melbourne in 1960, Pratt is the executive chairman of Visy Industries and Pratt Industries, which is the largest privately-owned paper and packaging company in the world. His grandfather Leon started the business in 1948 and his father Richard helped with its expansion. Pratt took over in 2009 and over the next three years managed to take the company’s reputation index ranking from #43 to #3. He graduated from Monash University with a Bachelor of Economics (Hons) in 1982.
How Much Is He Worth? $3.6 billion (£2.78 billion)
Fun Fact: Pratt was so convinced that Donald Trump would be elected President of the United States that he dropped a $100,000 (£77,341) bet with the Totalisator Agency Board (TAB) in October 2016, netting himself a cool $450,000 (£348,045) pay-out.
4. Frank Lowy
Who Is He? Lowy was born in Czechoslovakia (now Slovakia) in 1930 and was caught by the British on his way to Mandatory Palestine and interned at a detention camp in Cyprus. He subsequently fought in the 1948 Arab-Israeli War. In 1953, he met fellow immigrant John Saunders and together went on to create the Westfield Development Corporation, a shopping centre company with interests in Australia, New Zealand, the UK, Italy and the US.
How Much Is He Worth? $5 billion (£3.86 billion)
Fun Fact: Lowy has been credited with resurrecting soccer in Australia, and served as Chairman of the Football Federation Australia (FAA) from 2003 to 2015.
3. Harry Triguboff
Who Is He? Triguboff was born in China and is the son or Russian Jew parents. The family moved to Australia in 1947 and Triguboff later earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Leeds in England. He moved back to Australia in 1960 (gaining citizenship in 1961) and went on to found Meriton Apartments, Australia’s biggest residential property developer having built more than 55,000 residential townhouses and apartments since 1963. In 2004, the construction of World Tower was completed, Sydney’s tallest residential building.
How Much Is He Worth? $6.9 billion (£5.35 billion)
Fun Fact: The 1995 movie Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie featured scenes filmed at the future site of World Tower.
2. Gina Rinehart
Who Is She? Rinehart is one of only two women to appear on this list, the other being crowned the wealthiest person in Australia (it should be noted, meanwhile, that up until Forbes’ latest rankings, Rinehart was considered to be the richest person in the country). She is the daughter of Lang Hancock, a high-profile iron ore explorer who founded Hancock Prospecting. Rinehart inherited the bankrupted company upon her father’s death and was able to turn it into something much bigger.
How Much Is She Worth? $8.5 billion (£6.59 billion)
Fun Fact: The mining magnate tried her hand at poetry in 2012 with a poem called Our Future. It received negative reviews, with one critic going as far as calling it ‘the universe’s worst poem’.
1. Blair Parry-Okeden
Who Is She? Parry-Okeden is currently Australia’s wealthiest billionaire. She was born in Hololulu, Hawaii and is the granddaughter of James M Cox who founded the privately-owned media company Cox Enterprises in 1898. She inherited 25 per cent of Cox Enterprises upon her mother Barbara’s death in 2007 but has no role at the company. She moved to Australia in the 1970s.
How Much Is She Worth? $8.8 billion (£6.82 billion)
Fun Fact: She is the author of Down by the Gate, a children’s book published in 1989 about an advertisement that Mother Goose places in a newspaper.
Many of us would love to become a billionaire (myself included) and we can only look at these 10 richest people in Australia (and their wealth) with envy. Of course, it wouldn’t harm taking a page out of their book and begin investing our time and efforts into a, hopefully, highly successful and lucrative career.
Do you have anything you’d like to add? Join the conversation below and let us know!
Individual wealth is based on 2016 data compiled and published by Forbes. US Dollar – Stirling Pound conversations are based on rates from 16 May 2017.