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One Of Australia's Richest Women Is To Give Away All Of Her Money

Tom Wood

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One Of Australia's Richest Women Is To Give Away All Of Her Money

One of Australia’s richest women is reportedly going to give away her entire wealth, having amassed a A$16.5 billion (£9.2 billion) fortune by the age of 34.

Melanie Perkins started out selling spray on tattoos, but got her big break when she came up with online graphic design platform Canva, which is worth about A$55 billion (£30.62 billion) overall.

Despite Melanie and her husband/co-founder Cliff Obrecht controlling 30 percent of the company, Melanie believes she can live her life quite modestly, and has signed up to Bill Gates’ Giving Pledge, planning to give away her wealth during her lifetime through charitable donations and other endeavours.

Melanie Perkins. Credit: Twitter
Melanie Perkins. Credit: Twitter

They have set themselves the lofty goal of eliminating extreme poverty, and they’re going to put a whole load of money into it.

In a pledge letter, Melanie wrote: “We have this wildly optimistic belief that there is enough money, goodwill, and good intentions in the world to solve most of the world's problems,

“We feel like it's not just a massive opportunity, but an important responsibility, and we want to spend our lifetime working towards that.

“Who needs all that money? Personally?”

Despite being a co-founder, it seems as if Obrecht and their other business partner Cameron Adams are in no two minds about who runs the show.

Mr Adams said: “She’s unequivocally the boss.”

Perkins and her husband live modestly, but still travel. Credit: Instagram
Perkins and her husband live modestly, but still travel. Credit: Instagram

Obrecht added: “She’s usually right.”

Perkins and Obrecht met whilst studying at the University of Western Australia and started out selling spray tattoos at local fairs.

Perkins tutored in graphic design on the side whilst at university, also selling handmade scarves.

She had the basic idea for Canva back in 2005, starting out another business called Fusion out of her mum’s front room.

Then, in 2013 Canva got off the floor, and they haven’t looked back.

Now, Canva claims to have made more than eight billion designs, as well as 400 million presentations.

They’re forecast to increase further to employ 4,000 staff this year, too.

Perkins is worth A$16.4 billion. Credit: Alamy
Perkins is worth A$16.4 billion. Credit: Alamy

On their pledge, Obrecht told The Australian: “Mel and I are committed to giving away all our money to make the world a better place.

“I think with running such a large company with such a significant valuation now, it's an obligation on us to use that to be a force for good and make the world a better place, rather than just hoard s**t."

“We live pretty modestly, and we don't really see the need to just accrue wealth.

“The priority for the company is education, because we really feel educating underprivileged people gives them the opportunity to break the cycle.”

Featured Image Credit: Twitter/Alamy

Topics: Money, Australia

Tom Wood
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