The Golden Group:
A Journey of Success and Evolution

In the winter of 1964, a determined young Graham Schorer embarked on a journey that would lay the foundation for an extraordinary corporate story. With just $200 in his pocket and a job as a trainee sales executive waiting for him in Melbourne, Graham set off from his hometown of Perth in his trusty Morris Mini-Minor. Leaving behind friends and with only one Auntie as family in Essendon, he defied the odds with his unwavering determination to succeed.

By December 1964, Graham joined Chamberlain Industries, a prominent tractor manufacturer in Western Australia, as a trainee District Manager. His territory spanned from Bendigo across to Northwest Victoria, extending all the way to the NSW border at Mildura, and south of the Murray River down to Shepparton. Remarkably, Graham surpassed all expectations and outperformed the three major agricultural tractor and implement manufacturers of that time.

In January 1966, Graham embarked on a new chapter of his career and joined the sales team at a Chrysler dealership on Maroondah Highway in Ringwood. Over the following years, he worked at various car dealerships, including Kellow Falkiner, Penfold Motors, Etheridge, and Linacre Motors, as well as several Holden dealerships. During this period, Graham found himself assisting with the recruitment of messenger drivers for the emerging industry known as "messenger services."

In the late 1960s and early 1970s, most messenger service owner-drivers were women who had previously worked as tram conductors or drivers for the Victorian Tramways Association. Recognizing an opportunity to enhance the industry's services, Graham encouraged the introduction of 1-tonne tray trucks and expanded the acceptance of male owner-drivers. Drawing upon his father's experience in the dairy milk round business, Graham shared valuable business practices that propelled two messenger companies to unprecedented growth. He also provided marketing and recruitment support to other courier industries, leveraging his relationships with various business proprietors.

Driven by his ambition, Graham was determined to establish his own courier and taxi truck company in the late 1960s. Having developed close ties with the owners of a well-established courier company, he sought their advice and guidance based on their own experiences. Equipped with sound commercial advice, Graham became a registered licensed second-hand dealer in mid-1966. This allowed him to legally buy and sell second-hand cars while working in new vehicle dealerships. By May 1972, Graham ventured into self-employment, utilizing his second-hand dealer's license to buy and sell new and used vehicles to aspiring courier industry entrants.

Despite not having a courier company at the time, Graham's vision was unwavering. In late October 1972, he rented a 2-storey unit on Cobden Street in North Melbourne, where he immediately began modifying sections of the building to create a radio room and an operations centre. Graham's tenacity paid off when, in January 1973, he was approached by the proprietor of Golden Messenger, a small courier company established in 1966. Impressed by Graham's business plan and corporate structure, the proprietor agreed to sell the business to him on the condition that it could continue operating from its existing premises in Elsternwick until Graham obtained the necessary upgrades.

From February 1973, Golden Messenger (GM) commenced its operations from the backyard of the Elsternwick premises. However, tragedy struck in March 1973 when a fire ravaged the business, destroying all of GM's records, including the previous month's billing. Undeterred, Graham persisted in his pursuit of success. He sought assistance from the PMG (Postmaster General) office and managed to expedite the installation of telephone landlines at the North Melbourne premises. With the support of the PMG, GM was able to resume operations from its new premises on Cobden Street, North Melbourne, within seven days of the fire.

Operating on a limited budget, Graham took on multiple roles within the company, including serving as the radio operator, overseeing jobs costing, handling account queries, and managing collections. Despite the challenges, GM experienced rapid growth. In late 1974, an opportunity arose to purchase Kay's Messenger Service, which operated from a large premises on Templestowe Road in Bulleen. Graham entrusted the day-to-day management of GM to a trusted staff and focused on expanding the company by joining Kay's Messenger Service.

By the end of 1975, Graham noticed that GM was not performing well under the management of his trusted staff. To address this issue, he decided to transfer the operations of GM from Cobden Street, North Melbourne, to the Bulleen premises. By the end of 1976, the combined fleet size of Kay's and GMs exceeded ninety vehicles.

However, both companies encountered significant communication problems with the PMG (later Telecom and now Telstra) supplied service. The disruptions to landlines hindered communication between the carriers and clients. Based on a recommendation from a PMG engineer, Graham began searching for a suitable location in the North Melbourne area to relocate both GM and Kay's operations. In November 1977, he purchased a premise on Queensberry Street and Leveson Street in North Melbourne and refurbished it to house the operations of GM and Kay's Messenger Services. In March/April 1978, both companies started operating from the new premises.

In February 1979, Graham established a taxi truck business called Integrated Transport, specializing in 1-tonne up to 4-tonne trucks and semi-trailers. Initially operating from Abbotsford Street, North Melbourne, Integrated Transport later moved to the Queensberry Street premises and merged with the courier business, becoming GO-Express (GO). GO offered 1-tonne and 2-tonne load services at cheaper rates compared to GM.

In 1995, GM ceased marketing the name Kay's Messenger. Throughout the years, Graham developed various business practices to improve sales, marketing, client billing, and carrier reimbursement systems. In January 1975, he began developing a new costing system called the Grid System, which allowed clients and carriers to calculate the value of each job individually at the time of booking. To protect the Grid System's proprietary nature, Graham took legal action against competitor courier companies that used the system without authorization.

Graham also approached Toyota to secure a predetermined number of vans and trays for GM and GO's growing fleet at discounted prices. Toyota agreed on the condition that the allocated vehicles be purchased within the agreed period. GM and GO exclusively used Toyota vans and trays at the time. Graham worked with independent vehicle body builders to custom-build tray-trucks based on the Toyota Hilux cab chassis, ensuring they met the specific requirements of weight, space, and safety. This custom-built design later became the standard for 1-2 tonne tray trucks.

In February 2013, Graham acquired PakAir Cargo Specialists Pty Ltd, a specialized logistics service offering integrated, time-critical, and temperature-sensitive courier and cargo solutions worldwide. This acquisition expanded the companies' service offerings and added a 24-hour global network to their operations.

In recent years, Graham has engaged legal and accounting firms to establish a transitional plan ensuring the long-term viability of the Golden Group as a family-owned and operated logistics business. In January 2019, a company restructure took place, including several senior appointments from within the family. In February 2020, the Board and Management secured a newly constructed warehouse in Moorabbin Airport, Victoria, to fulfill Graham's vision of expanding the company's services to include a warehouse solution and taxi trucks. In August 2021, GM, GO, and PakAir moved to the new premises, and GM (Melbourne) Holdings Pty Ltd and GO (Melbourne) Holdings Pty Ltd ceased operations. A new entity, Golden Messenger Pty Ltd, reflecting the new management structure and ownership, commenced operations on July 1, 2021.

Since its inception in 1966, "The Golden Group" has remained a family-owned and operated courier and logistics business. Graham continues to be involved as a non-executive member of the Board, ensuring the preservation of his legacy.
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