On the morning of 29th August 1853 in Southampton England, Samuel and Jane Daniel led their four children John, Anne, Malachi and Adonis up the gangplank of the wind jammer ‘Epaminondas’, to set sail for Australia. Four months later, on Saturday the 24th of December, this 1,171 ton ship dropped anchor in the Port of Adelaide as they stepped onto the newly formed colony of South Australia. Australia has been the home of their generations ever since. Research into the Daniel(s) family tree, reveals that it was a tree that rarely saw sunshine and bore little if any fruit. From disadvantaged background, life was a struggle and any legacy was best forgotten.
This was my heritage. I am Graham Daniels, a fifth generation Australian born on November 25th of 1957 to Peter and Robina Daniels. One of three children. I can still remember the hardships my parents went through in their struggle to break the curse of poverty and build a heritage of values for future generations. The good news is that they did, and today I am very much a proud “builder of the family name”, building on the foundation of my parents’ yesterday… a yesterday I remember and respect.
From earliest recollections, I had a passion for the Australian Bush, traveling into the outback with my horses & dogs, hunting, fishing, cooking on the open fire, and sleeping under the stars. This lifestyle was very much that of my ancestors. An uncle on my mothers side worked as a boundary rider at Sandy Creek Bore, grandfather Chilton a labourer on the East-West Railway line, grandmother Daniels a Hotel hand at the Williama Hotel in Broken Hill, and Uncle Tom a fisherman on the River Murray. The outback and the Australian bush are in my blood.
Today I often muse at my life's journey that has granted me international respect and recognition as a businessman, lecturer, consultant and friend, yet still allows me to shoe my own horse for a weekend polo match with my family. One day negotiating on behalf of a client in the boardroom of a private bank in Liechtenstein, and a week later negotiating fallen gumtrees in a dry riverbed in outback New South Wales, hunting wild goats with my son and 30.30 Winchester. A balance I enjoy.
At age 16 while still at school, my first business venture was part time rubbish removals. I was pleased when I was able to persuade my parents that traditional school was of little value to me, and retired from High School a year later. A questioning mind, an obsession for truth, private studies and quiet observation is how I learnt the skills and knowledge to advance my life. I had the knack of being able to get along with almost everyone and the energy that made me welcome, however my progress accelerated when I learnt how to determine what could be safely ignored, and discovered the value of relationships. These lessons are not found on the traditional school curriculum, and although school ceased for me in 1975, learning never has.
Having left school at age seventeen I went to work in my father’s real estate business as a labourer on building sites, working my way to general repairs, maintenance and property renovations. Due to my keenness to get ahead, I quickly acquired a grasp of the building trade and was soon able to compile a list of satisfied clients who would speak favourably of my practical building achievements, which was instrumental in me being granted a builders license without formal studies. This proved to be a “trade of practicalities” that served me well on many occasions.
On the social front, I had developed a friendship with Bob Romeo a fellow horseman I met at the local church. Bob was 20 years my senior, yet we enjoyed spending time riding in the National Park, a practice that was not strictly kosher, but Bob knew how to navigate access to the Park via the railway line and keep clear of the Park Ranger. Bob’s background was in jewelry and had just been appointed CEO of the national jewelry firm, The House of Hawke. Bob asked if I would like to take on the wholesale jewelry agency for The City of Adelaide, South Australian country and the Northern Territory. I accepted the position even though I knew little about jewelry, but again was a quick learner under Bob’s tuition. This was my introduction to “sales”, and the ‘value of gold’ and the opportunity to travel into the outback won the deal for me, selling jewelry in the “Iron Triangle”, Coober Pedy, (where I was later to mine opal on a joint venture), Alice Springs, Tennant Creek, Katherine and Broken Hill. With such exposure, I learnt much in a short space of time.
I guess my personal growth didn’t go unnoticed as two years later I was invited to work with a leading insurance broker who specialised in a unique form of life insurance structure as a means for his clients to gain a personal or business tax advantage. This appealed to me and as The House of Hawke was in the midst of a takeover, I accepted the invitation. To the surprise of many, I did extremely well almost instantly, and was on the road to financial freedom.
I had been dating Leanne during these years, and in 1980 we married, which proved to be one of the best decisions of my life and hers. Leanne was 19 when she said“I do”, and for the next 7 years before starting our family, we spent much time traveling, having fun, working hard and enjoying the fruits of our labour. We had formed our own joint venture insurance brokerage, where I wrote business in the area of “internal fund superannuation” and “single premium investment policies” for some of Australia’s largest insurance companies (Australian Eagle, Security Life). My achievements in sales was such that in 1981, at the age of 24, I was invited by Lumbly’s Insurance Company to be a guest at their Million Dollar Round Table Annual Luncheon. Success with my tax advantage insurance business allowed me the freedom to seek additional income streams and a major break came in 1983, when I was approached to join the board of Corporate Consultants International Ltd. (CCI), a prestigious and specialised Tax Planning Practice. This I accept as it complimented my insurance brokerage business and exposed me to a league of lawyers, accountants and professionals at the top end of town where I built some enduring associations and friendships.
CCI marketed tax effective investments, including such programs as cattle leasing and aircraft syndications. I soon added to my business portfolio, fundraising for the South Australian Film Corporation and Australian Film Commission through a tax incentive investment scheme introduced by the Australian Federal Government, and in 1985 launched Transact Corporation, an Australian based tax, finance, and investment firm.
With some major changes to Australian legislation in the late eighties, I was to return to my fathers Real Estate business, which was about to branch into time-share marketing and commercial real estate sales and leasing. Real Estate sales required a “salesman” to hold a license from the Real Estate Institute of South Australia; a two year part time course, but I had no license. There was however an unusual occurrence whereby an intensive Real Estate Salesman’s course was being offered for those who considered they understood sufficient in Law of Property and Law of Contract. I enrolled, passed the course in 21 days, and received my license which granted me passage into the real estate industry.
During the eighties, while involved in Commercial Real Estate, my father (Peter Daniels) had begun writing books based on his life’s journey from an illiterate bricklayer at age 26, to multi millionaire. The unique blend of his story and my background was soon recognised by business leaders we had been associated with, and my father and I found ourselves sought after and contracted as consultants to the boards of a number of organisations for our skills in corporate and strategic business planning. This was a lucrative venture and we began to travel the world extensively.
In 1988 I also served as Vice President of the Australian Collegiate School of Entrepreneurs, one of the research and education arms managing the marketing of my father’s literature. By 1992 this organisation had expanded beyond Australia becoming the World Centre for Entrepreneurial Studies (WCES), the banner under which we ran seminars on four continents and inspired thousands to personal growth and the entrepreneurial spirit. The Centres’ emphasis of publishing self help material and acting as global advocate of a free market economy was well recognised. The year of ’92 also saw the launch of the Australian Providence Foundation, the benevolent arm to our business operations.
It would seem that my achievements and skill in the area of strategy and negotiation had been noticed beyond my immediate sphere of influence, as I was somewhat surprised when in late 1993 I was informed that a meeting had been arranged in New York between myself and the UN ambassador of North Korea. We met when I was next in New York and our discussions centered on my “brief” which was “An Interim Strategy for Business Growth to Develop Hard Currency”. Very few people knew of this meeting, and I imagine at the time the general feeling would have been, “Why would you dare be involved, due to existing military tensions between North Korea and its neighbours?” I hold the view that you can either trade or fight, but can’t do both, and trade is my preference. The possibility of contributing to “peace through trade” made this project appealing.
In April 1994, my father and I received a formal invitation to visit North Korea and visas were made available for July that year. We were to fly to Pyongyang via Beijing to join an entourage of delegates from the West and participate in formal discussions at a high level. As a gesture of sincerity, I had arranged with the Australian Providence Foundation for a large food shipment of muesli bars and fruit cake to be flown from Sydney Australia to Pyongyang and distributed to the needy however, while en-route from Australia to China, our office received word that the North Korean Supreme Leader, Kim Il-sung had died, and our visas were to be cancelled as the country was now in a state of mourning. I then redirected the food shipment from Sydney to the Aboriginal community in Alice Springs via the Pitjantjara Council.
In 1998 I launched Australia Fair, a strategic information and precious metals company founded in Australia. It was privately owned and debt free. Having worked with my father on many projects worldwide, I invited him to the seat of Chairman. He accepted, and the business took off. My interest in bullion has seen the introduction of numerous world firsts, including gold foil polymer notes and the private minting of unique bullion coinage that sold around the world to a growing private clientele. The Perth Mint in Western Australia won the contract to mint the first issuance of our bullion coins.
While working on the Australia Fair launch, I accepted the role of Executive Producer to a somewhat provocative documentary on economics and morality, produced and directed by my close friend, Mr. Philip Judge. This documentary Millennium Money, won Gold at the “U.S. International Film and Video Festival” held in Chicago in 1999 and was marketed by Australia Fair. In less than two years the Australia Fair project went global under the banner of Australia Fair International with the opening of its first overseas office in Vanuatu. It was then rebranded the Anglo Far-East Bullion Company where I served as Chairman with an international board serving four continents through its head office in Panama City. I retired from that project in 2008 to further my passion to develop niche Private Estate Planning that utilised the benefits of unique forms of precious metals, thus in 2009 Dan El opened its Monaco office.
Today, I consider myself very fortunate as I enjoy a reputation not only as a respected businessman, but also as a somewhat popular lecturer on business and lifestyle matters. I have given presentations in South Africa, Australia, Hong Kong, New Zealand, Singapore, Vanuatu, Fiji, Cook Islands, USA, England, Canada and Malaysia. My subjects have included, The Banking System, The Market Economy, Trends and Cycles, Relationships, Leaving a Heritage to your Children’s Children, Taxation... the Divine to the Ridiculous, precious metals, global power shifts, asset protection, morality and business strategy. The attendees to my seminars have included bankers, professors, economics teachers, stockbrokers, congressmen, Lawyers and Judges, clergy, business women and business men, and families and individuals from all walks of live. At the conclusion of my presentations, I enjoy inviting questions from the floor. You either know your subject or you don’t, and if you’re not prepared to be questioned, then maybe you shouldn’t be given the podium.
From the correspondence I have received, it would appear that my lectures have been enjoyed by many, partly because they offer an alternative view to the debt based, fiat currency, government interference models of the West. Western economies, for many reasons are systemically unsustainable, and the day of major wide spread implosion is not that far away. Third party interference has contaminated the pure market economy to the point that it has become toxic and in many economies it may well die.
Being on the international lecture circuit for many years has given me great exposure, yet at times I find the requests for counsel, and invitations to sit on Boards and to be involved in ‘opportunities and deals’ overwhelming. To those people, I say thank you, and as flattering as that is, regrettably I cannot accept every invitation. It is a wonderful compliment to discover the valued estimates people have of you, and the edge they perceive you can offer their cause, but I am always mindful of my responsibility to maintain integrity to that which I am already committed to.
My interest in the pure market economy goes beyond theory, because theory will never put a meal on the table for your family and there is much to be learned outside the theory classroom. My father use to say“we don’t need more teachers today, what we need is more examples” and he’s right. If you really want to help the poor, I suggest you show them how to attain economic freedom. Only when the poor no longer need you, can you claim that the program you are using is a success. Maintaining reliance will destroy individual esteem and stagnate a community.
Under the banner of WCES, I decided to field test economic theory by applying pure market economy principles to a group of NiVan village people in Vanuatu. The project started by ensuring that the community had a functional courthouse and public meeting hall, which required an upgrade of their existing facilities. We then taught the five fundamentals of a pure market economy to a group of key people in the village community, who in turn taught others, and we were ready to begin. In one project, WCES provided sewing machines and flew in a seamstress from Australia to teach the ladies how to sew shirts, dresses and soccer uniforms. Before long this group of ladies had a small thriving business proudly displaying their own “TUPUJI Sportswear” label. Another project saw young men taking tourists around their village on pushbike rickshaws. The pure market economy had created a means to provide for the needs of those who participated in it and in turn their families, and had done so completely debt free.
Much was learned by this project including identifying weaknesses in the cultural approach to a sustainable market economy, which is a positive discovery as you can only correct that which you can identify. The aim of any such application of the pure market economy should be that over time the participants need a facilitator less, however we should only consider such a project a success when they don’t need a facilitator at all!
I am a strong supporter of a functional judicial system as it is the backbone to peaceful coexistence in the community. Its importance in a society cannot be overstated, and for this reason I study law. I hold the view that you can run a nation like clockwork, with no other governance model other than a just judiciary. As an advocate for a laissez faire society, open market economy, and minimalist government, I find comfort in the well documented 400 year test case of the Hebrew Republic which provides all the evidence and principles you need on how to run a nation with the ultimate governance structure.
Due to my interest in law, for many years I had been seen in the courtrooms of Australia voluntarily challenging various issues of concern. In doing so, I represented myself at Magistrate, District, and Supreme Court jurisdictions, often attracting an uninvited audience of observers who followed my cases. My Court Room opponents were government officials, solicitors, lawyers, barristers or QC’s and on one occasion a Magistrates Court Judge. My successes were many, my failures few. On four occasions I attended court as a McKenzie Friend (at no charge) to assist those I felt were being unjustly oppressed by “bullies in the system.” All four cases produced favourable outcomes.
I have always had compassion for the disadvantaged and abused, which explains my benevolent work. In 2001, I drafted and settled Linda's House of Hope Trust Deed, which enjoys both tax exempt status and tax deductible gift recipient status in Australia. Linda’s House of Hope offers rescue and support for women who seek to exit prostitution. I was a Board Member of Linda's House of Hope Trust for 3 years, served as personal advisor to Linda Watson, and was actively involved in strategy, PR and fundraising.
My involvement in projects of compassion throughout the world have produced emotional letters of gratitude even from people I have never met, and occasionally I get the phone calls that start: ‘you don’t know me but you helped a friend of mine and he suggested that I contact you’. At times I have overheard my proud father telling people that: “Graham thinks totally different to most people. His street smarts and calm ability to negotiate confidently, even from a position of apparent weakness, has saved many people form hardship, heartbreak and financial ruin”. I guess the response to my involvement expressed in humbling thank you notes and complimentary letters confirm that story.
As a natural progression of the philosophy behind Dan El, and because gold & silver have proved to be faithful in antiquity and trusted in our modern world, the next step for me is to launch the worlds only dedicated full reserve bullion bank - Havilah Bullion Bank (HBB). HBB is not a currency or legal tender bank. It does not create credit neither does it lend money at interest. It is a physical gold and silver bank in the tradition of the Bank of Hamburg in 1619, the Bank of Amsterdam in 1609 and Banco della Piazza del Rialto of Venice in 1587. HBB will offer its Clients the distinctive benefit of wealth stored in physical gold and silver with access to their vaulted bullion through an encrypted online account system. This system will allow Clients to pay bills or make exchanges in grams of gold and silver with other HBB Clients in real time (Internal Payment), or via their payment/debit card which operates off the back of the vault, a Client can make purchases and pay bills (External Payment), or draw local currency from ATMs worldwide. At any time a Client can take physical delivery of part or all of their private bullion holdings in the form of LBMA bars or HBB privately minted bullion coins. Minting or barring of metal held in a Clients account is a service HBB will offer to its Clients at cost and with an open book policy, which is unique in private bullion acquisition. It is my aim that the conservative services provided by the bullion banks of old, will again be available.
On the family front, Leanne and I are Australian citizens, and we both enjoy our privacy. We raised our two children, Taliah and Jake on a 140-acre family property in the Adelaide Hills, South Australia, and now reside in the Archipelago of Vanuatu in the South Pacific. Those who have attended my lectures will know that I advocate the importance of family as the building block of society, and hold the view that: ‘As the family goes... so goes the nation’.
When not with my family, riding horses or furthering various projects, I spend much of my “spare” time in private study of history, economics, ancient Hebrew, health, jurisdictional advantage and law, and am a member of the International Tax Planning Association, Cayman Islands.
Yes, this “auto-biography” probably sounds pretty good, but I bet you’ve never read an autobiography that doesn’t! At the end of the day, I don't want people to think more highly of me than they ought. When I shake their hands at a business meeting, I want them to realise that the man they see on the podium at seminars in his blue Italian suit is very much a capable worker in his blue jeans and that I live a balanced lifestyle that demonstrates the priority I place on family life. To me, that’s the ultimate compliment.
I guess I have done well so far, but I refuse to take full credit for my achievements as I recognise that I come from a fortunate country and family background, I have seen many facets of life and have had the foundation of numerous adventures and experience at a young age. I will always be thankful to God.
For all of the above, my greatest claim to fame is the fact that my family under God and my relationships with them are my most valuable asset and greatest achievement.