There are hundreds of stories of immigrants striking it rich in a new country and Australia’s rich list is no different. One I’ve always liked is that of Terry Peabody, who came to Australia in 1965 as a 25-year-old engineer on the Snowy Mountains hydro-electric project. Peabody’s main job was pumping high-fluidity cement to stabilise the ground before construction began on the dams and tunnels. But he saw a different opportunity. A key ingredient in the cement was fly-ash, which helped to strengthen the cement and was being imported – at high cost – from Japan. Peabody recognised fly-ash was a waste product from coal-fired power plants and approached the coal-fired power plants in New South Wales with a deal to buy the fly-ash they had been throwing away. It took time to convince the cement sector to use fly-ash, but it allowed Peabody to build his first empire.