The New Daily

Bridges exercises her way into the BRW rich list

Gina Rinehart may be Australia’s richest person, but she doesn’t make the list of the richest self-made women.

Fitness queen one of Australia's richest self-made women.

Personal trainer Michelle Bridges has exercised her way to a $53 million fortune and a place alongside Oscar-winning actresses, corporate high-flyers and a “mysterious” telco founder as Australia’s richest self-made women.

Mining magnate Gina Rinehart’s $20 billion fortune may make her Australia’s richest person but it’s the little-known Vicky Teoh who is queen among women who have created their own personal fortunes.

Ms Teoh, who co-founded telco and internet provider TPG with her husband, has a tight grip on the top spot in the BRW Rich Women list, with a $938 million wealth.

BRW deputy editor Caitlin Fitzsimmons described Ms Teoh as one of the more mysterious figures in Australian business, as the Teohs are a fiercely private family.

Super Cheap Auto co-founder Hazel Rowe made her debut at third place on the 2015 list, with a $376 million wealth made primarily through the Super Retail Group.

Ms Bridges pushed her way into the top 30 (at 29th spot) thanks to the international expansion of her fitness empire.

Actress Nicole Kidman is worth $331 million and Kylie Minogue, Elle Macpherson and Cate Blanchett are also on the list, along with four women such as former Westpac CEO Gail Kelly, who made their wealth from high-powered corporate jobs.

Ms Fitzsimmons said the majority (23 of the 30) who made their fortunes by founding and building their own businesses.

The combined wealth on the list, published on Sunday, has risen to $5.4 billion, up from $4.5 billion.

Ms Fitzsimmons said that was thanks largely to the value of share and property, although the wealth of Therese Rein, the wife of former prime minister Kevin Rudd, jumped to $192 million (from $135 million) thanks to the sale of her multinational job seeker business Ingeus.

Ms Rinehart does not appear on the rich women list for the same reason James Packer did not feature on the BRW Young Rich list: the wealth has to be self-made and not thanks to a significant inheritance.

“We certainly don’t mean to disparage Gina Rinehart as a businesswoman. She’s been phenomenally successful but she did start with a pretty sweet inheritance in the first place,” Ms Fitzsimmons said.

AUSTRALIA’S RICHEST SELF-MADE WOMEN:

1. Vicky Teoh (TPG) $938m

2. Charlotte Vidor (Toga Hotels Group) $385m

3. Hazel Rowe (Super Retail Group) $376m

4. Patricia Ilhan (investment) $366m

5. Rhonda Wyllie (funds management) $358m

6. Nicole Kidman (entertainment) $331m

7. Jude Turner (property development) $316m

8. Jamuna Gurung (Melbourne Institute of Technology) $264m

9. Imelda Roche (Nutrimetics) $236m

10. Penelope Maclagan (Computershare) $198m

OTHERS INCLUDE:

11. Therese Rein (entrepreneur) $192m

18. Kylie Minogue (entertainment) $79m

22. Elle Macpherson (entertainment) $71m

25. Cate Blanchett (entertainment) $63m

29. Michelle Bridges (fitness) $53m

THEIR WEALTH:

* Vicky Teoh tops three-year-old list for third time

* Her wealth up $170m

* Combined wealth $5.4b, up from $4.5b

* Average wealth $181m, up from $150m

* More increased wealth than decreased

* Lowest cut-off $51m, from $35m

* Youngest 41yo Carman’s Fine Foods founder Carolyn Creswell

* Oldest 80yo Imelda Roche (Nutrimetics)

* Biggest wealth source: retail, food, fashion, entertainment

Source: 2015 BRW Rich Women list.

  • John Fraser

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    Almost without exception these self made women have increased their fortunes over the last year.

    While Cockey keeps telling Australians that we have a "Budget Emergency" a "debt" problem.

    And for those Australians whose "fortunes" have NOT increased during Cockey's reign as Treasurer he wants those people to pay more taxes.

    He wants Pensioners to forgo pension increases to pay down the debt that he has allowed Abbott to accrue in just 18 months.

    He wants to stop Teenagers of low paid parents from getting unemployment benefits while they look for the work that isn't there because business doesn't have any confidence in Abbotts government.

    Not at all difficult to see why Abbott bought back knighthood and Dames.

  • John

    The rich get richer, the working poor remain poor.
    The fact is, there is only so much money in the world and whenever anyone increases their wealth, is done at a cost to others, the U.S. being a prime example.
    “To Have Or To Be” a book by Erich Fromm, should be compulsory reading for folks on that ambitious spiral of self-delusion.

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