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Australia, the magazine : Australia, the magazine
Nathan Tinkler has gone from electrician to mining magnate with a AU$350 million fortune -- in under a decade. On the side, Tinkler, 33, has rapidly become one of Australia's biggest racehorse owners with a stable of more than 100 horses. "I got a pretty good understanding of how to develop a mining operation and I was ambitious and silly enough to think that I could go and do it myself," says Tinkler. "Life's changed pretty fast, but I guess it just allows you to do the things you want to do. The badge on your car changes, and life goes on." Tinkler's rise has been spectacular. At 26 he set up his one-man business, maintaining mining machinery. Within four years it had a team of 25 and that success enabled him to invest in mining projects. Tinkler took an educated bet on a coal deposit in Queensland and hit paydirt when Macarthur Coal bought a 70 percent share for AU$275 million. At the end of 2009 he bought an undeveloped coal project for AU$480 million and will soon list his company, Aston Resources, on the stock market. However, horse racing remains his real passion. "I love going to the races and I grew up wanting to be in that owner's box, like lots of blokes," he says. "There's no sweeter beer than that one you have in the jockey club room after the race." NATHAN TINKLER, 33 OCCUPATION: ENTREPRENEUR 33 The Trouchet brothers are intent on turning their campervan business into the biggest of its kind. Luke Trouchet, 33, and his brother Karl, 32, have taken the family-owned Apollo Motorhome Holidays from the backyard operation started by their parents in 1985 to a AU$70 million business, and they are not done yet. Apollo is already the biggest privately-owned motor home business in the Southern Hemisphere, and has opened in the US. In late 2009, they bought into a Canadian company. "Our aim is not necessarily to be the biggest in any one market but we want to be the biggest in the world overall,'' says Luke. "We bought a small company in the United States to use as a springboard to launch ourselves into that market.'' The Trouchet family story is a classic tale of two generations creating wealth. Apollo started when parents Gus and Carolyn bought a pop-up campervan to rent out on weekends. It grew steadily, and the boys went from cleaning vehicles for their parents to university. When their parents handed over control of the business to their sons seven years ago, Apollo had 50 vehicles and four staff. Now it has 250 staff across Australia, New Zealand, the US, and Canada and a fleet of 3000 vehicles. Apollo has expanded from renting motor homes to assembling them, and is now the biggest motor home manufacturer in Australia, building 600 units a year. But the aspirations lie offshore. "Europe is probably the next one,'' says Luke. "We are still quite young so we have ambitious plans for growth.'' LUKE (33) AND KARL (32) TROUCHET OCCUPATION: ENTREPRENEURS EMMA JONES, 32 OCCUPATION: POET 32 33 Emma Jones says her poetry contains "a lot of images of water", which she attributes to growing up in Sydney, a city where the harbour is never far away. "Australian poetry is always going to be in an Australian voice because that is the place which shaped you," she says. "Sydney is in my poetry, definitely, because a city is its own character and shapes you in ways you can't even define." Jones' upbringing in Sydney has moulded a unique voice in Australian poetry, which is now making an impact around the world. In 2009, her book of poems -- The Striped World -- was published by esteemed British publishers Faber & Faber, home to legends such as TS Eliot and Sylvia Plath. Jones was only the second Australian poet to be published by Faber & Faber and the only debut writer it published that year. The accolades have kept coming. The Striped World won the Queensland Premier's Literary Award and Britain's top award for debut poets, the Felix Dennis Prize. She was shortlisted for the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize, and then chosen as writer-in- residence at the Wordsworth Trust at Grasmere in Britain's stunning Lake District, the landscape which inspired some of the greatest Romantic poetry in the English language. Jones is shy about her achievements but concedes the interest in her work has piqued more interest in Australian poetry generally. "If I am a flagbearer for Australian poetry it's not intentional," she says. "But there is a growing awareness about the interesting work that has been done in Australia, and the response is that people think Australian poetry is interesting and free and variable in its voice." Residencies in Europe beckon, and then it's back to Grasmere for the remainder of her time with the Wordsworth Trust. So where is home? "I've been wandering for two years now," she says. "But my home in my head is still Sydney." 28 Faber & Faber/Allen & Unwin Nicolas Walker/Fairfax Photos