This year’s richest Australians have been named with mining and manufacturing magnates leading the pack, while tech entrepreneurs such as Mike Cannon-Brookes have taken a hit.
Mining magnates Gina Rinehart ($37.41 billion) and Andrew Forrest ($33.29 billion) topped the Australian Financial Review’s annual Rich List for 2023, while Cannon-Brookes ($19.01 billion) and his business partner, Scott Farquhar ($18.16 billion), more than seven billion lost each since 2022.
Atlassian co-founders Cannon-Brookes and Farquhar lost 31.7 percent and 31.2 percent of their wealth, respectively, after the software company lost its share price and lost jobs.
The biggest jump into the list’s top 10 super-rich was Clive Palmer ($23.66 billion), who saw a 21.1 percent increase after selling his nickel business and raking in mining royalties.
Rising interest rates and inflation were cited as the main reason tech industry figures including Cannon-Brookes and Farquhar dropped in the list this year.
Atlassian co-founders Mike Cannon-Brookes (pictured) and Scott Farquhar lost 31.7 percent and 31.2 percent of their wealth, respectively, between 2022 and 2023
Gina Rinehart topped the list for the fourth consecutive year, with a net worth of $37.41 billion by 2023
Fellow mining tycoon Andrew Forrest is the second richest Australian and has increased his wealth by 8.4 per cent since 2022 to now $33.29 billion
Atlassian shares fell about 50 percent on the US stock market in March, which immediately affected the founders’ net worth.
Cannon-Brookes and Farquhar saw $20 billion wiped from their combined fortunes overnight in what was an unforgiving global market for technology companies.
The duo laid off 500 staff, or about 5 percent of their workforce, across research, human resources and program management, which they say will help rebalance the company.
The co-founders have been diversifying their portfolios over the past two years, aggressively pursuing investments in renewable energy and buying property in Sydney.
Rinehart has been in first place for four years in a row now.
Her wealth stems primarily from the success of her massive Roy Hill mine, which exported more than 60 million tons of iron ore in 2021-2022, and Hancock Prospecting, which generated a massive $5.8 billion profit in 2022.
Manufacturers and miners outperformed last year this year, with 14 slots occupied by them in the top 200 richest – up from 11 in 2022.
Fortunes built on digital technology saw an overall decline year over year, from 27 to 24 people on this year’s list.
Farquhar (pictured) and his partner Cannon-Brookes were jumped onto this year’s list by Clive Palmer, with the latter seeing the biggest increase in wealth within the top 10
Palmer increased his wealth by 21.1 percent and is now the fifth richest man in the country with $23.66 billion now in the treasury after selling his nickel business and cashing in mining royalty checks
Other tech giants that suffered from the latest list included Tesla’s Australian chairman Robyn Denholm, computer salesman David Dicker and entrepreneur Fung Lam, all of whom fell off the list since last year by failing to cross the $690 million threshold to be included.
Canva founders Melanie Perkins and Cliff Obrecht, who created the digital design space, also fell on the list.
The pair landed at number nine with a valuation of $13.18 billion, a drop in wealth of 4.6 percent since they ranked eighth in 2022.
Venture capital investors cut Canva’s stock by 30 percent last year at a tumultuous time for the tech industry, which AFR deemed unnecessary given the graphic design software’s continued growth.
Mr. Palmer took advantage of a price forecast in February that pushed the price of iron up $25 a ton.
The unpopular politician leapfrogged the Atlassian founders from seventh last year to fifth this year after selling his Queensland nickel business for $1.4 billion.
Six men debuted on the list for the first time this year, with no new women.
Since 2022, the total number of women to be included has fallen from 37 to 36, but remains a significant increase from the four originally listed.
The first Rich List was published in 1983 and included a total wealth of $4.6 billion from the 200 people on the list at the time.
Since then, the total wealth of Australia’s richest people has reached $563 billion, and the country’s household wealth stands at $14.9 trillion.
AFR 2023 Rich List’s top 10
1. Gina Rinehart ($37.41 billion)
2. Andrew Forrest ($33.29 billion)
3. Anthony Pratt & family ($24.3 billion)
4. Harry Triguboff ($23.8 billion)
5. Clive Palmer ($23.66 billion)
6. Mike Cannon-Brookes ($19.01 billion)
7. Scott Farquhar ($18.16 billion)
8. Ivan Glasenberg ($13.6 billion)
9. Melanie Perkins and Cliff Obrecht ($13.18 billion)
10. Frank Lowy ($9.33 billion)