Meet the Founders
Grace Forrest first visited Nepal as a student when she was 15, and returned in 2011 to live and work at a rehabilitation and rescue home for women and girls who been subjected to various forms of exploitation. Dismayed by what she had witnessed, on her return she sat at her family’s kitchen table in Perth to discuss what the Forrests could do to alleviate, or play a role in ending, modern slavery. This kitchen table meeting led to the founding of the Walk Free Foundation. Not long after, Fortescue Metals Group, of which Andrew Forrest is Chairman, conducted a thorough audit of its supply chains. The company discovered that a contractor serving it and hundreds of other companies around the world used forced and bonded labour as a key part of its supply chains. Andrew determined to form a business-like global strategy to end modern slavery, and envisaged massive campaigns to emerge sequentially but rapidly embrace the entire world. This included social media, business, direct intervention, global analysis and research on an unprecedented scale, and a worldwide government initiative.
Andrew Forrest AO
Industry and philanthropic leader Andrew Forrest grew up on a remote Australian cattle station, Minderoo, before graduating from university and building a career in investment banking, mining and farming. In his professional life he has created some of the largest raw material exporters and infrastructure companies in the world. Andrew is Chairman of Fortescue Metals Group and the Minderoo Foundation among other significant charities and companies. Some 90% of his time is now invested locally and internationally in ventures to protect and support the under privileged and communities.
Nicola Forrest, BA
Nicola is the CEO of the Minderoo Foundation which she and Andrew established in 2001. Nicola is also a member of the Prime Minister’s Community Business Partnership, Telethon Kids Institute CoLab Advisory Council and Governor of the Forrest Research Foundation. Nicola is Patron of the Kimberley Rock Art Foundation and Impact100 WA and is a Life Governor of Sculpture by the Sea. Nicola is also a director of the Minderoo Group and Managing Director of Minderoo Station’s pastoral operations in the Pilbara and Gascoyne regions of Western Australia. She has been awarded the 2014 Celebrate WA Western Australian of the Year (community category) and the 2016 University of Canberra Award for Services to Philanthropy.
Grace Forrest, BA
Grace is a founding director of the Walk Free Foundation and works as a communication strategist on the Global Slavery Index, using on the ground photography and storytelling to create powerful social media content. She has represented Walk Free at the United Nations and is an Ambassador for the Humanitarian Group and The Freedom Hub. Grace is passionate about the value of the arts and social impact. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Arts, majoring in International Relations and is currently completing her Master’s degree in Strategic Communications at the University of Western Australia.