In an exclusive interview to mark her 70th birthday, Gina Rinehart shares with our Editor Mitch Catlin that she has no plans to slow down or retire from her extraordinary business career - quite the contrary. On the back of her purchase of iconic brands Drizabone and Rossi boots, the nation’s richest woman has marked her milestone birthday with gifts for her staff and one hell of a planned shopping spree, adding more Aussie brands to her already-large basket. 

Despite having been in the public eye for most of her working life as a result of her large number of Aussie businesses, Gina Rinehart remains unquestionably an enigma to most of us, rarely conducting media interviews. 

“I have a problem in Australia, where too often I’m misrepresented, even misquoted by media,” Mrs Rinehart says, of the constant media interest in her. “I don’t think I’m the only one who has such a problem though.” 

Focussing on her loyal staff rather than herself on her 70th birthday, Mrs Rinehart handed out $7 million to a lucky 70 people from among the 4000 plus staff across all of her businesses. The gifts were raffled in [after tax] $100,000 lots, 40 in December as part of her mother’s birthday celebrations and the other 30 handed out to mark her actual birthday last week. 

Giving away cash and prizes to staff isn’t just limited to milestone birthdays – she does something every year through her Chairman’s Profit Share which is given away each year on the 7th December, her mother’s birthday, and can be up to 30% of a staff members base salary. 

This year, every staff member also received a $175 voucher to spend at Drizabone or Rossi Boots – two iconic Aussie businesses and the latest additions to what is fast becoming Gina Rinehart Fashion Inc. 

Drizabone, which started in Australia in 1898, was purchased in very early December. Just a few weeks later, 114 -year old company Rossi Boots was added to the apparel portfolio. With the rumoured plans for full production to return to Australia, the first new products will be out in August using only Australian leather from one of Mrs Rinehart’s agricultural businesses to keep operations fully integrated in-house.