Australia’s Billionaire Boom 2024: Meet the Newest Titans of Wealth

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In 2024, Australia has become home to an increasingly affluent elite with a record-breaking 159 billionaires. Some of the fresh faces took their positions on the list as well. These newcomers come from diverse industries, ranging from cryptocurrency gambling and lithium mining to retail giants and property development.

Tim Heath, with a net worth of $2.15 billion, represents the modern tale of rags to riches. Growing up in the modest surroundings of Victoria’s Warracknabeal, Heath’s journey to wealth was humble. Initially drawn to the adrenaline of poker tables at Melbourne’s Crown Casino, Heath ventured abroad and established the Yolo Group in Estonia. With ventures like and under his belt, Heath’s ascent in the world of online gaming is nearly portraying a Cinderella story. Today, his empire is providing jobs for over 1000 individuals and is set to unveil a luxurious $100 million casino and hotel complex catering to high rollers. There are plenty of options for players in Australia who’d like to keep their stakes smaller, though. According to Sergio Zammit, low minimum deposit casinos accept minimum spends of as little as $1 in some cases, and have minimum stakes of $0.10 on some games. However, he adds that it is normal for deposits accepted to vary due to different factors such as varying payment methods, promotional offers, and individual player preferences – but you still won’t need to spend as much at these sites as you would during a night at Heath’s new luxury casino resort!

Nick Wakim, having a fortune of $1.10 billion, has found his path in the burgeoning lithium industry. Wakim is the founder and majority owner of Phoenix Lithium. His vision extends to constructing a $US2 billion processing plant in California which is to meet the soaring demand for battery-grade lithium carbonate. Wakim also made headlines for his substantial real estate investments in Victoria, including acquiring three luxurious mansions in Melbourne’s prestigious Toorak suburb.

Chris Barlow and his family have a combined net worth of $1.95 billion. They are synonymous with the iconic 7-Eleven Australia brand. From its humble beginnings with a single store in Melbourne’s Oakleigh suburb in 1977, the Withers and Barlow families transformed the convenience store chain into a household name. Despite the recent sale of their business to Seven & I Holdings, the families retain ownership of the Australian arm of Starbucks.

Nicola Forrest found her way on the billionaire scene through her separation from her husband Andrew Forrest, the visionary behind Fortescue Metals Group. Nicola’s independent shareholding in Fortescue solidifies her inclusion on the billionaire roster, notwithstanding the combined wealth shared with her ex-husband. Together, the Forrests wield significant control over the Tattarang business empire. They are in the business from cattle holdings to iconic brands like RM Williams.

Adrian Portelli’s meteoric rise to billionaire status is anchored by his entrepreneurial prowess and diverse investment portfolio. Renowned for his strategic marketing acumen, Portelli’s LMCT+ rewards club has over 100,000 subscribers, complemented by lucrative property holdings and stakes in burgeoning drinks startups. Notably, his penchant for acquiring properties featured prominently on Nine Entertainment’s The Block TV series, underscoring his savvy business acumen and penchant for high-stakes investments.

Marnie Lewis-Millar and Shay Lewis-Thorp inherit a formidable legacy as the daughters of the late Bernard Lewis, founder of Lewis Land. Steering the family company, they continue to shape Australia’s property development landscape, with a legacy spanning over six decades. From carving canals on the Gold Coast to residential subdivisions in Melbourne and Sydney, Lewis Land remains a cornerstone of the nation’s real estate sector.

Peter Smaller’s billion-dollar fortune is rooted in his stewardship of Southern Steel Group, one of the nation’s largest privately held steel conglomerates. With a sprawling network comprising 26 companies, Smaller’s enterprise plays a grand role in supplying, processing, and distributing steel products nationwide. Southern Steel Group had a humble start in Wollongong in 1947, but under the right leadership, they managed to gain success.

Neville Crichton’s journey mirrors resilience and adaptability in the face of evolving markets. As the proprietor of a vast car dealership empire, Crichton’s business acumen raised Ateco to unprecedented heights. There were speculations of a potential sale or public listing, but Crichton remains at the helm, navigating the automotive industry.

John and Michael Borg’s ascent to billionaire status is a true Australian success story. From modest beginnings in their parent’s garage, the brothers’ joinery firm blossomed into Borg Manufacturing, a powerhouse in the board products industry. With brands like Polytec and Australian Panels, the Borgs continue to expand their empire, employing over 2000 individuals and having revenues nearing the billion-dollar mark.

Roger Fletcher’s legacy in the agriculture industry is nothing short of legendary. From humble roots in Dubbo, central west NSW, Fletcher transformed the family business into a global meat export powerhouse. With initiatives like building its train to facilitate exports, Fletcher Group’s annual revenue surpasses the billion-dollar mark.

Dale Elphinstone’s journey is an example of innovation and resilience in Tasmania’s industrial heartland. From modest beginnings in his father’s Burnie farm shed, Elphinstone’s eponymous group has emerged as a leader in mining equipment manufacturing. Elphinstone Group’s success can be seen in the contracts like producing components for the Australian Army.

Andy Kennard and his family’s legacy in the hire equipment industry is a testament to entrepreneurial vision and commitment to excellence. From its inception in Bathurst in 1948, Kennards Hire has flourished under successive generations, recording record profits and expanding its operations nationwide.

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