25-Year-Old Uni Dropout Makes His Debut On Aussie Rich List
— Updated on 6 March 2023

25-Year-Old Uni Dropout Makes His Debut On Aussie Rich List

— Updated on 6 March 2023
Garry Lu
Garry Lu

AFR’s annual announcement surrounding the richest people in Australia seldom offers any surprises.

For the third consecutive, mining magnate Gina Rinehart has been crowned the country’s richest person by The Australian Financial Review thanks to how natural resources are king here in Australia. Rinehart’s industry rival Dr Andrew “Twiggy” Forrest once again trails behind at a close second.

Tech money has steadily crept into the Top 10 led by the young(er) hustlers, i.e. Mike Cannon-Brookes ad Scott Farquhar of Atlassian, Melanie Perkins and Cliff Obrecht of Canva. No doubt one of them will usurp old Gina to become the richest person in Australia sometime in the near future.

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What does consistently raise eyebrows, however, is the degree to which these numbers snowball year after year. In 2021, Australia’s 200 richest names had a combined wealth of approximately $479.6 billion. This year, the total has exceeded $554.9 billion with Rich Listers averaging a net worth of $2.77 billion.

As for the people themselves, the average age in AFR’s Rich List is a ripe 67.7 – the youngest entrant being university dropout Robert Ferguson (25), a debutant who also secured the title of youngest AFR Rich Lister in history; while the oldest entrants are Len Ainsworth and Marc Besen (98).

By virtue of youth alone, Ferguson’s tale is the most fascinating. Teaming up with his older brother James (30), they established a company known as Immutable. Initially, their objective was to develop video games using blockchain technology. When they encountered obstacles during the expansion stage, however, a pivot was necessary.

“Its Immutable X platform provides backbone infrastructure for other companies to grow their non-fungible token enterprises at a lower cost,” explains the AFR.

“Its tech is being used by Disney and Marvel to power their own burgeoning crypto businesses. TikTok is using it to allow people to own content shared on the social media platform.”

“A US$200 million Series C fundraising in March valued Immutable at $3.5 billion, making it Australia’s third most valuable privately held tech company.”

Together, James & Robert Ferguson are currently worth $1.01 billion.

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richest people in australia 2022 afr Canva Melanie Perkins

“This year’s Rich List has the widest gap between the nation’s youngest and oldest entrepreneurs, proving age is no barrier to wealth creation. Of the 13 new people joining the list, 7 are aged 40 or under,” writes AFR Rich List Co-Editor Julie-anne Sprague.

“There are some notable departures this year as rising inflation and interest rates reset investor appetite for growth stocks. Some bigger names to fall off the list include Zip Co’s Larry Diamond whose wealth has plunged from $598 million to less than $70 million over the past year.” 

“As some fortunes fall, others rebound. Flight Centre’s Graham Turner and wife Judy Turner, who operates their Spices Retreats, rejoin the list after a two-year hiatus.”

“It’s been fascinating to watch the Rich List rollercoaster ride this year, with fortunes based on software growing exponentially then falling just as dramatically as the Rich List was being finalised,” adds AFR Rich List Co-Editor Michael Bailey.

“Technologists have joined the miners as a new source of volatility on the List ”

Check out the 10 richest people in Australia below.

The 10 Richest People In Australia Revealed [2022]

1. Gina Rinehart (Resources/Agriculture) – $34.02 billion

2021 Rank: 1
2020 Rank: 1
Wealth Change: +$2.96 billion

2. Dr Andrew “Twiggy” Forrest (Resources) – $30.72 billion

2021 Rank: 2
2020 Rank: 2
Wealth Change: +$3.47 billion

3. Mike Cannon-Brookes (Technology) – $27.83 billion

2021 Rank: 3
2020 Rank: 5
Wealth Change: +$7.65 billion

4. Scott Farquhar (Technology) – $26.41 billion

2021 Rank: 5
2020 Rank: 6
Wealth Change: +$6.41 billion

5. Anthony Pratt (Manufacturing) – $24.30 billion

2020 Rank: 4
2020 Rank: 3
Wealth Change: +$4.21 billion

6. Harry Triguboff (Property) – $21.25 billion

2021 Rank: 6
2020 Rank: 7
Wealth Change: +$3.98 billion

7. Clive Palmer (Resources) – $19.55 billion

2021 Rank: 7
2020 Rank: 8
Wealth Change: +$6.54 billion

=8. Cliff Obrecht (Technology) – $13.80 billion

2021 Rank: 10
2020 Rank: 9
Wealth Change: +$5.82 billion

=8. Melanie Perkins (Technology) – $13.80 billion

2021 Rank: 10
2020 Rank: 
Wealth Change: +$5.82 billion

9. Ivan Glasenberg (Mining) – $12.20 billion

2021 Rank: 12
2020 Rank: 10
Wealth Change: +$4.81 billion

You can check out the full list of richest people in Australia here courtesy of AFR.

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Garry Lu
After stretching his legs with companies such as The Motley Fool and the odd marketing agency, Garry joined Boss Hunting in 2019 as a fully-fledged Content Specialist. In 2021, he was promoted to News Editor. Garry proudly retains a blue belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, black bruises from Muay Thai, as well as a black belt in all things pop culture. Drop him a line at [email protected]


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