Atlassian Co-Founder Buys $100 Million Fairwater Mansion


Software billionaire Mike Cannon-Brookes and his wife Annie have secured Australia’s most expensive property, the late Lady Mary Fairfax’s Sydney Harbour estate, Fairwater.

The sale will see the Cannon-Brookes move in next door to best friend and fellow Atlassian co-founder Scott Farquhar who purchased the neighbouring "Elaine" estate for $71 million last year.

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Mike and Annie Cannon-Brookes family

When the Atlassian duo decided to launch their business some 16 years ago, their financial goals starting out was simple, earn a basic graduate wage of roughly $50,000 a year.

Needless to say, the pair may have reached a bit beyond their initial income aspirations.

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Fairwater, Point Piper.

The Fairwater mansion was snapped up quickly after hitting the market just this month with price expectations of more than $100 million.

The purchase of Fairwater estate also ends more than a century of Fairfax family ownership of the sprawling neighbouring properties, and perhaps ushers in a new era, that of the Atlassian tech dynasty amid Sydney's prestige harbour neighbourhood.

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The late Mary Fairfax hosting actor Kirk Douglas at the property. Fairwater estate has officially changed hands from media moguls to tech tycoons.

“We are delighted with the purchase of Fairwater for our young family and look forward to continuing the legacy of this beautiful Sydney home” the Cannon-Brooke couple said in a statement.

“We love the idea of raising our four young children in this historic property, filling the house and gardens with love and laughter through the years.”

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Experienced with dabbling in the property market, the Cannon-Brookes family sold their Centennial Park home for a cool $17 million in an off-market deal in May earlier this year.

New era in Australian royalty?

The software giant co-founders are estimated by Forbes to be worth around $3.5 billion each, after deciding to float Atlassian on the US Nasdaq in 2015.

Not bad for two university friends who started the business with a $10,000 credit card limit.

Often referred to as “accidental billionaires”, the pair founded Atlassian in 2002.

Atlassian’s software has helped more than 60,000 organisations to track, communicate and streamline its processes.

NASA (yes, the US space agency) has used Atlassian software on Mars. Organisations including eBay, Twitter, Coca-Cola, Visa, BMW use Atlassian's products.

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The Elaine estate, next door, sold for $71 million in 2017 to Atlassian co-founder Scott Farquhar.

“The Elaine and Fairwater properties have been in the Fairfax family for more than 100 years,” Christies International's Ken Jacobs said when marketing the Fairwater estate.

“Money can give you whatever house you want as far as construction and modern features go, but you can’t get this sort of land holding. It’s just not available.

“Fairwater is a reward for a life of success,” Jacobs said.

A spokesperson for Christies International said the phone had been "ringing off the hook all day" since news broke of the sale.

The Point Piper Fairwater estate

Over the decades the land on Sydney harbour has been subdivided to the hilt by developers. However the Fairwater estate has remained intact with its 11,210sq metre lot size offering.

The former Lady Fairfax property represents the largest privately-owned beachfront landholding on Sydney Harbour.


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