IT'S not often a Hollywood A-lister is eclipsed by an Australian businessman.
But when actor Russell Crowe welcomed billionaire Andrew Forrest as the "man of the moment" at Parliament House today, the significance of the mining magnate's $400m philanthropic donation to "make lethal cancer history" was clear.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull called the donation, the biggest by a living person in Australian history, a "gift to society".
It was an act of love that would inspire other Australians now and in the future, the Prime Minister said.
Mr Turnbull and other politicians, Crowe, internationally-renowned medical specialists and survivors of modern slavery gathered in Canberra for the announcement today.
Mr Forrest's message to his fellow Australians when he took the stage was simple: "Give what you can - and if it isn't money, time is just as valuable".
The billionaire philanthropist, whose net worth is about $5.78 billion according to Forbes, is one of Australia's 10 wealthiest people and was a nominee for the 2017 Australian of the Year.
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The money will be poured into medical research, with $75 million going to research for cancer treatments.
Social causes will also receive funding with $75 million going to early education, $50 million to creating equal opportunity and combating indigenous disadvantage, $75m for higher education and research and $75m to removing modern slavery from human history.
"Despite so much of your achievement having been the result of your hard work, your determination and thus your just rewards for your efforts, you've nonetheless recognised that all good fortune comes with an element of fortune and that all of us, no matter how successful, know that if life's wheel had turned somewhat differently, we could be much less well off, much less well situated," Mr Turnbull told the gathering.
"We thank you for the leadership you've shown and the scale on which you've shown it," he said.
"It will change the lives of thousands of people here in Australia and around the world."
Mr Forrest told Fairfax Media he and wife Nicola would be giving away "a very significant proportion" of their personal wealth.
"Nicola and I have been very fortunate to build up a couple of businesses from scratch ... we decided that if we ever got to the point where we could afford to, we would put that wealth to the highest social use," the Fortescue Metals Group chairman said.
"We really want to encourage institutions to specialise in cancer research and to get them the capital they need in order to do so," he said.
The WA-based couple hope the money can be used to enhance cancer research to the point where it is "no longer a life-debilitating disease".
Australian actor Jack Thompson was also among guests, which included internationally renowned cancer specialists, politicians and Australian academics.
It's not the first time the Forrest family has made a major philanthropic donation.
The 55-year-old and his wife Nicola established the Minderoo Foundation in 2001, with the ethos that "by giving a hand up, not a hand out, we can empower communities".
Minderoo has supported more than 250 initiatives both within Australia and internationally, including fighting modern slavery, ending Indigenous disadvantage, and ensuring all children in Australia "thrive by five".
The Forrests and daughter Grace founded the Walk Free Foundation in 2012, which aims to end slavery, which affects more than 45 million people.
The family then set the gold standard for philanthropy in Australia in 2013 when they pledged to give away a majority of their wealth during their lifetimes.
Mr Forrest built his fortune in mining after founding Anaconda Nickel Ltd, now known as Minara Resources, in 1994, before founding Fortescue Metals Group in 2003, the world's fourth largest and Australia's third-largest iron ore miner behind BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto.
He is currently chairman of Fortescue, having stepped down as CEO in 2011 to focus on philanthropic work.
He also comes from a longline of prominent West Australians; one of his great uncles was the state's first premier and his family ran a large cattle station, Minderoo, in the state's north from the 1870s.
This year, he was Western Australia's finalist for Australian of the Year. One of Australia's richest men, the late Paul Ramsay, left most of his $3 billion fortune to charity in 2014.
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