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Australia's youngest billionaire and digital design mogul Melanie Perkins leads a life of luxury as the country's third richest woman - but she and her fiance business partner stress they want to give away all their money to help others

"Antwan Faerber" (2020-08-10)


Australia's youngest billionaire and Platon Digital Graphics was established in 1952 as a family owned commercial photo studio and lab serving companies such as McDonald’s design mogul Melanie Perkins leads a life of luxury as the country's third richest woman - but she and her fiance business partner stress they want to give away all their money to help others.

Ms Perkins has amassed a personal fortune of $2.5billion through her Sydney-based company Canva, which allows businesses to build their own social media graphics, posters and invitations.

Her stock soared as the COVID-19 pandemic confined workers to their homes and forced them to work remotely - doubling her wealth in a matter of just months.

The 32-year-old's social media profile boasts of her lavish trips to international countries - with Australia's third richest woman most recently sharing a photo of her taking in the Rio de Janeiro skyline in Brazil.

Australia's youngest billionaire Melanie Perkins pictured with her fiance and business partner Cliff Obrecht on a holiday to Turkey's popular Cappadocia region last year

Last July, she and her fiance Cliff Obrecht - with whom she founded Canva in 2014 - shared photos of the pair enjoying a trip to Cappadocia in central Turkey.

The pair have also jetted off to Richard Branson's luxurious privately-owned island Necker Island in the Caribbean's British Virgin Islands. 

Their company expanded to Manila and Beijing in the five years since Canva launched - recently reaching a $US6billion ($AUD8.3billion) valuation.

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With the added stimulus of the work from home customer base during the pandemic, Ms Perkins' fortune has almost doubled from the $1.3billion it was valued at last year.

Mr Obrecht proposed to Ms Perkins on the trip to Turkey, although he stresses the couple live a simple life despite the wealth they have gained from their graphic design firm. 

He said the couple plan to donate their billions to the 'greater good' rather than spend it on themselves.

The 32-year-old's social media profile boasts of her frequent trips to far-flung countries - including Rio de Janeiro in Brazil (pictured)

'Mel and I are committed to giving away all our money to make the world a better place,' he told .

'I think with running such a large company with such a significant valuation now, it's an obligation on us to use that to be a force for good and make the world a better place, rather than just hoard s**t.'Mr Obrecht said he proposed to his wife with an engagement ring worth just $30, and the couple were instead focusing on spending their money on causes like reforming the global health system. Ms Perkins pictured at the Center Stage of Web Summit in Portugal in November 2019 with what appears to be the $30 engagement ring given to her by her fiance in Turkey.

Her wealth is trumped only by that of Australian mining magnate Gina Rinehart In 2013 the pair jetted off to Richard Branson's luxurious privately-owned island Necker Island in the Caribbean's British Virgin Islands (pictured on the holiday)'We live pretty modestly and we don't really see the need to just accrue wealth.

The priority for the company is education, because we really feel educating underprivileged people gives them the opportunity to break the cycle,' he said.  His fiance added she hoped to bring more equality to disadvantaged communities through her position of power in the business world. Perkins' wealth is only trumped only by mining magnate Gina Rinehart who owns Hancock Prospecting, valued at $16.25billion, and Vicky Teoh - the founder of telecommunications company TPG Telcom - worth $2.6billion. Perkins said she hoped to bring more equality to the world through her position of power in the business world  Canva is now worth $8.77billion after raising an estimated $87million in its latest investor round from existing shareholders, including Australian company Blackbird Ventures and Sequoia Capital, from China.Ms Perkins previously told Daily Mail Australia she dreamed up the idea for a  graphics design business from her mother's couch while studying a first-year digital media subject at in 2005. She fell in love with graphic design and developed skills far exceeding those of her peers, to the point where she was invited to teach graphic design workshops to students in other faculties. Ms Perkins, originally from Perth, founded the Sydney-based digital graphics business Canva with her fiance in 2014 after dropping out of universityMs Perkins found most people struggled to use the clunky software, so she developed a business idea.'It was really complex and difficult, and it would take the entire semester to just learn where the buttons were on the software,' she said.'At the same time Facebook was taking off, and it was so easy to use and everyone was on it. <div class="art-ins mol-factbox news" data-version="2" id="mol-d24453f0-b517-11ea-b20c-a3755f4e4f49" website lifestyle of Australia's youngest billionaire Melanie Perkins