We’ve seen them dominate catwalks, movie screens and social media feeds — but some of Australia’s most famous women have also built multimillion-dollar empires at the same time.
The 2019 Financial Review Young Rich List has just been released, ranking our 100 wealthiest self-made young people under 40.
Of course, it’s filled with the usual male tech billionaires and property tycoons, with Atlassian co-founders Mike Cannon-Brookes and Scott Farquhar topping the list yet again with stunning fortunes of $13.499 billion and $13.215 billion respectively.
But there’s also a clear trend of young, well-known and glamorous Australian women also making bank.
Australia’s nine richest women under 40 have a colossal combined wealth of more than $2.8 billion, the 2019 Young Rich List reveals.
The coveted title of Australia’s richest young woman goes to Canva’s Melanie Perkins, 33, who shares her $1.350 billion fortune with partner Cliff Obreacht.
Ms Perkins first pitched her business idea to an American millionaire – at the tender age of just 22.
Today, Canva, the graphic design software company she co-founded with now-fiance Cliff Obrecht and Cameron Adams, is worth billions.
In fact, earlier this month it was revealed that a $125 million venture capital raising had catapaulted Canva’s value to $4.7 billion, the AFR reported.
But somehow, the fabulously wealthy young couple have managed to dodge the spotlight, and are far from household names.
Australia’s second-richest woman under 40 is Envato’s Cyan Ta’eed with $799 million, followed by 28-year-old fitness queen Kayla Itsines’ $486 million wealth.
Ms Itsines and fiance Tobi Pearce owe the bulk of their fortune to the success of their fitness app Sweat, with subscribers forking out $19.95 each month in exchange for fitness and meal plans, shopping lists and exercise advice.
But while Ms Itsines’ fame and influence has been growing for some time, only last year the extent of her wealth was revealed when 2018 Rich List editor Julie-Anne Sprague started digging around.
“As part of this, she took a closer look at those women who are turning the tables, discovering that Sweat, the fitness app that Kayla Itsines created with her fiance Tobi Pearce, is spinning off a lot more money than anyone outside the business realised,” Australian Financial Review Magazine editor Matthew Drummond said at the time.
This year, Australia’s fourth-richest woman is Miranda Kerr, who has a net worth of $52 million from her Kora Organics skincare brand, which she forged separately from her successful modelling career.
She’s moved up to the 33rd spot on the list, up from 52 last year.
Online fashion maven Jane Lu, 33, the founder and CEO of Showpo, is the fifth-richest woman under 40 with $36 million, followed by Triangl swimwear founder Erin Deering, 35, who has a $35 million net worth.
Wolf of Wall Street star Margot Robbie, 29, and model and swimwear entrepreneur Jennifer Hawkins, 35, have both debuted on the list with twin $35 million fortunes, while Alarna Longes, 40, who co-founded Clearskincare Clinics, is our ninth-richest young woman thanks to her $30 million fortune.
However, only nine women made the top 100 this year, down from 10 in 2018 — although three of those were in the overall top 10.
THE TOP 10
Mr Cannon-Brookes and Mr Farquhar, both 39, have topped the overall list for the eighth year in a row with their stunning fortunes.
Fellow billionaires Melanie Perkins, 33, and Cliff Obreacht, 32, who co-founded graphic design software company Canva, both share the third position with a combined wealth of $1.350 billion, followed by Envato’s Collis Ta’eed, 40, and Cyan Ta’eed, 38, in fourth place, with $799 million in the bank.
Ori Allon, 39, from Compass Real Estate rounded out the top five with $747 million behind him, followed by 38-year-old Peter Greensill, co-owner of Greensill Farming and board member of the Greensill company, in sixth place with $745 million, up from $412 million last year.
The first top 10 debutant is seventh-placed Shangjin “Jin” Lin, 30, the son of Chinese property billionaire Yi Ling and the founder and group managing director of property company Aqualand, who is worth $659 million, while eighth place went to luxury developer Tim Gurner, 37, with $608 million — down from $631 million and third place in 2018.
Ninth place went to 29-year-old Afterpay boss Nicholas Molnar, who has amassed $564 million compared with $341 million in 2018.
And Australia’s fittest couple, Ms Itsines, 28, and Mr Pearce, 27, shared 10th place with a combined $486 million.
The wealth of the Adelaide power couple — who welcomed first child Arna Leia Pearce in April — has not increased from last year when they were ranked fifth and sixth.
THE 2019 LIST
This year, the 100 richest young Aussies have a collective $41.2 billion — a staggering figure nearly double 2018’s total of $23.5 billion.
In 2019, tech tycoons were the clear winners, with people behind “software-as-a-service” businesses taking out 11 spots, while 25 went to e-commerce figures.
But sport has emerged as a huge wealth generator this year due mostly to talented young Aussies storming the United States National Basketball Association (NBA).
Six Australian NBA players made it on the list this year, including five first-timers such as 23-year-old Ben Simmons, while other rich-list athletes include Adam Scott, Andrew Bogut, Jason Day, Daniel Ricciardo, Michael Clarke, Tim Cahill and Lleyton Hewitt.
Editor Michael Bailey said it was interesting how our young entrepreneurs were “thinking about business, growth and success”.
“The Financial Review Rich List really demonstrates how the wealthiest self-made young Australians are growing their businesses at a rate that is challenging legacy ASX companies,” he said.
“It’s fascinating to see businesses like Canva that is just five years old that are now worth seven times as much as Here There & Everywhere, the 30-year-old, ASX-listed media and entertainment company.”
Meanwhile, Drummond said while technology was still the best sector for gaining entry onto the coveted list, the 2019 ranking was “notable for the number of sportspeople, especially basketballers”.
Pedestrian. TV co-founders Oscar Martin and Chris Wirasinha narrowly missed out on a place this year with their $27 million fortune, while former rich-listers Mark McDonald and Josiah Humphrey disappeared this year after the sudden collapse of their tech developer start-up Appster in 2018.
The November issue of AFR Magazine, including the Young Rich List, will be published tomorrow.