A word from our Editor-in-Chief

Leadership

Forbes Australia Editor-in-Chief Sarah O’Carroll gives readers a sneak peek of what to expect from issue 10 of our magazine.

This letter from our Editor-in-Chief was featured in Issue 10 of Forbes Australia. Tap here to secure your copy.

Issue 10 of Forbes Australia is out now. Tap the image to secure your copy.

IN 1963, a 30-year-old Harry Triguboff bought a block of land in one of Sydney’s lesser-known southern suburbs for £3,400. He built a block of eight units, and when he sold the block for £25,500, he knew he was onto something big. 

What followed is the extraordinary story of a Chinese-born Russian immigrant who arrived here without his parents when he was 14 years old and went on to become Australia’s 3rd richest person with a net worth of $25 billion. 

Now 91, the man they call ‘High-Rise Harry’, still works full-time at the helm of his Meriton property empire that started with that block of land in Tempe, NSW, over six decades ago. 

So, when Forbes Australia arrive at his office for an interview and a photoshoot, we don’t question it when we’re told we will have a maximum of one hour for everything. He’s a busy man. 

It was worth it to get a firsthand glimpse into the spirit of this titan of industry and the limitless possibilities of entrepreneurial vision. Harry is definitely a busy man, but he is also one who embodies the pioneering spirit with the determination and resilience of an immigrant who battled for years, in vain, to get his parents’ visas to join him in Australia. 

So perhaps it is not surprising that I found Harry to be full of contradictions: no-nonsense but often laughing and funny; gruff but charming; impatient but willing to play the long game; respectful but contemptuous of authority. And while our cover story reveals his relentless and uncompromising side, it’s worth noting that he relented to us and cheerfully gave us a lot more time than he said.

But what stuck with me most is his answer to how he has survived so long at the top of the high rise when many of his rivals crumbled during the boom and bust of the 1970s, the Global Financial Crisis, the pandemic and other seismic shifts. 

It is a one-word answer: loyalty. Loyalty to his contractors and the loyalty of his staff. It’s more important to be on good terms with the contractors than the Prime Minister, he says firmly. 

You can read the full story by Mark Whittaker in issue 10 of Forbes Australia, including insights from some of those contractors and the politicians he clashed with over the years. 

Elsewhere in the magazine, Peter Fox, executive chairman of Linfox and son of billionaire Lindsay Fox, talks about the challenges of navigating the logistics giant he controls towards a more sustainable future. 

Jessica Sepel speaks to us from the United States, where she’s been based for the last eight months, working on the international expansion of JSHealth amidst an explosion in the global vitamins market. 

Meg O’Neill shares some of the leadership lessons she took from ExxonMobil to her new role at Woodside. 

Finally, thanks to all of you who joined us for the second Forbes Australia Women’s Summit. I hope you found it as informative and thought-provoking as I did. 

We’ll be sharing more Summit stories online at forbes.com.au and plan to continue the conversation through the launch of our Forbes Women community in the near future. 

Look back on the week that was with hand-picked articles from Australia and around the world. Sign up to the Forbes Australia newsletter here.

More from Forbes Australia