Nicola and Andrew Forrest standing side-by-side
  • Fellowships awarded to Andrew and Nicola Forrest recognise their outstanding personal commitment to the work of the Western Australian Museum
  • Nicola Forrest will be the first female Fellow in the Museum’s 127-year history
  • A new grants program, the Minderoo Fund, will offer $25,000 a year for key Museum projects

The Western Australian Museum has awarded its highest honour to philanthropists Andrew and Nicola Forrest for their committed leadership and financial support of the Western Australian Museum over many years.

The couple became Fellows of the WA Museum at an event today in Fremantle.

Only 17 Fellowships have been awarded by the Western Australian Museum over its 127-year history and Nicola Forrest is the first female Fellow.

“The Western Australian Museum is pleased to recognise the ongoing support of Andrew and Nicola Forrest," said Alan Robson AO, the Chair of the WA Museum Board of Trustees.

“They are among Australia’s most dedicated philanthropists and their outstanding efforts and personal commitment to the Museum go far beyond their very generous financial contributions.” 

“We believe museums can be powerful agents of change in communities,” Nicola Forrest said. “They teach us about our past and our environment, have a role in championing equality and diversity, and house many esteemed researchers, conservationists and educators.

“We are incredibly humbled to join such a prestigious list of WA Museum Fellows and look forward to continuing to support the rich natural and cultural heritage of our home State.”

The Foundation for the WA Museum hosted today’s Fellowship event as part of its role as an independent fundraising partner of the Museum. 

To ensure that the Foundation continues to deliver strong, sustainable support to the Museum it has created the Discovery Endowment Fund which is professionally invested and supported with robust governance policies – it has a $35 million fundraising target.

The CEO of the Foundation for the WA Museum, Jenny Allen, said the Forrests are renowned for their philanthropy and through that support is very excited to launch the inaugural annual Minderoo Grants program.

“In 2011, they generously donated a parcel of FMG shares which supported the development of the Endowment Fund,” Ms Allen said.

“Some $170,000 from this fund helped finance the Museum’s ground-breaking expedition to image the wrecks of the HMAS Sydney II and HSK Kormoran off the WA coast, and as part of today’s event, the Foundation will announce the Minderoo Fund, which will come from income generated from the endowed 2011 FMG share gift.”

The Minderoo Fund will this year initially offer $28,000 in grants, and $25,000 in subsequent years, to enable key Museum projects which would not otherwise be funded.

The recipients of the inaugural four Minderoo grants announced today are Head of Earth and Planetary Sciences and Curator of Palaeontology Dr Mikael Siversson; Senior Researcher and Manager of the Molecular Systematics Unit Dr Nerida Wilson; Conservator in the Materials Conservation Department Natasha Trenear; and Technical Officer (Terrestrial Vertebrates) in the Terrestrial Zoology Department Rebecca Bray.

“Minderoo Foundation is working to establish Western Australia as a historical and futuristic research centre of excellence which will demonstrate the value of fierce determination, entrepreneurship, careful planning and risk taking in order to grow our community, economy and social society,” Andrew Forrest AO said.

“The Minderoo Grant Program is part of this mission, supporting and safe-guarding the work of WA Museum staff for years to come.”


Media contact
Tony Malkovic
A/Manager Communications and Media
Western Australian Museum