The Story of Minnik

How it all began

After years of training and working in the city for professional accounting and commercial firms I was faced with an extremely difficult decision.  My dear, beautiful and incredibly courageous mum Jenny, was diagnosed with terminal illness.  How entirely devastating this was, it rocked my world.

As helpless as I felt, all I knew is that I wanted to be with Mum.  I wanted to be with her every moment that she had left to live.  I had the rest of my life to work for accounting firms, but I didn’t have the rest of my life to be with Mum.  I made the decision to “leave the firm” and be with her.

To be working your way through the accounting profession (I don’t like to refer to this process as working your way up), and “leave the firm” was considered cutting off your life blood, as many professionals will understand.

Leah Oliver with her Mum Jenny in Salzburg

During this time, an interesting thing happened.  Friends and family started asking me if I could manage their accounting, taxation, business and financial affairs.  Before long I had book full of my own clients.  I recognised a newfound freedom that enabled me to be with Mum, and keep working as well.

Mum passed away on the 5th of March 2007 at 11:25am.  For those that she left behind, my dad Alan, my brothers Guy and Todd, and their families and the countless people that adored her, Mum’s passing has left an indescribable ache in the hearts of us all.

Mum never complained.  Mum loved her life and she loved us all so much.  Mum’s love lives on and on in us forever.

After Mum’s passing, I was sitting on my veranda in my apartment in Woolwich, and I was writing her eulogy.  All of a sudden the butterflies came.   There were butterflies everywhere.   I believed this to be the spirit of Mum as she left on her journey, and to this very day the stories I have to share with the world about the butterfly and when she chooses to visit me are incredulous.

"Mum was a deeply compassionate soul, who cared for others more than herself. She was independent, and believed in freedom for all beings.

Mum loved everyone that crossed her path, and those that knew her never forget the way she made them feel. The butterfly became a symbol of compassion and freedom in the name of my Mum Jenny."

I took some time off and I went out to see the world.  I spent time in many wild and wonderful places from China through the Gobi Desert, overland across the Russian continent through the Stans, the Caucasus and into Turkey.

I spent a tremendous amount of time in the Middle East, primarily Syria and Kurdistan.  This was an incredibly rich time of my life.

My passion for out of the way places extended to Latin America where I followed the steps of Che Guevara’s first expedition by motorcycle, along the west coast from the tip of the south to the top of the north.

I had studied the life of Che Guevara and he became my ultimate inspiration and guide in life.  Things didn’t stop there.   Trinidad and Tobago was a favourite destination and I returned several times to the Caribbean.

I would go on these wild expeditions and every place I went, no matter how harsh the conditions, the butterflies appeared.  These tiny beautiful creatures followed me everywhere, with their delicate beauty capable of survival in the strangest of places.

"Friends that I made on my adventures into the world's wilderness knew me as the Butterfly Lady. I still receive a message from them from wherever they are on the planet, when they see a butterfly.

At that point I know that Mum and I have achieved something meaningful in the life of another person."

What I didn’t realise at the time was that my journeys across the world were designed to heal the deep pain in my heart.   I acknowledge now that this opportunity was Mum’s gift to me.  My travels to rare destinations, often very poor and war torn places, changed my entire existence and outlook on life.

I returned to Australia eventually, with a burning desire to help others.   Amongst all the beauty of life, I had seen so much suffering.  I had seen people and animals, living like no one should be allowed to live.   I wanted to help.   I wanted to relieve the suffering.   As my mother had done, her whole life, by loving every living creature that came her way, and from her very own backyard.

"I wanted to help others who had been gifted with opportunities, to use them wisely. To manage their resources so that they could experience the kind of wonders that I had been able to experience - or if exploring the wonderful world was not their cup of tea - to fulfil a specific dream that they have.

I was determined to help people find a way to break through the obstacles that may be preventing them from living the life they choose."

I remember sitting at my desk in my apartment thinking – with my fascinating experiences, my professional qualifications, my loyal clients, and my compassionate nature – I have so much to give this world.   I wanted to make a difference to the lives of others.   Three months of brainstorming, mind-mapping, and serious planning followed, then my company “Minnik” was born.

“Minnik” is a shortened version of 'Munminnik' inspired by my dear Kurdish family and friends in North Eastern Syria. The meaning of this word is “Butterfly”.

Minnik’s logo reflects two people facing each other, coming together in union to help each other.  The butterfly is our symbol of freedom and compassion, for the world and for all of its living beings.

Today, some seven years later, Minnik continues to bring delightful moments for all of us.  I am surrounded by extraordinary people, both clients and colleagues, who are proud and happy to share in the success of something wonderful.

Our advisory and compliance team is based in Australia, and we work with a group of highly qualified Australian trained tax professionals in Ho Chi Min City Vietnam.  If you happen to have spent time in Vietnam, you will understand the work ethic and the absolute kindness and manners of the Vietnamese people.

Over the years that have passed, I have had the absolute honour of working closely with a number of very inspirational and successful women in business.   Not just women – super women to be exact.  Clever and powerful high achievers who are dedicated to their business, and providing for their families.

“The truth is, I love to work with adventurous women. They are driven, hardworking, passionate, motivated, intelligent professionals who live life to the full.

There is no better way to spend a day at work than with this calibre of client. Its breathes life into my soul, and makes every new day a unique experience.”

Our clients love us.  And we love our clients.   It is an absolute two-way street of trust and respect.   To see our clients reach their goals, financial and otherwise, as a result of their journey with us, is the ultimate reward.

All of our dealings reflect a community focus.  Part of managing our client’s business and personal financial affairs results in surplus, which is used to channel into personal investments, and to fund our client’s future.   Beyond this essential endeavour, we encourage every client to have a community mindset, and when in a position to do so, to give back a percentage of their resources – time, effort, or money to the cause of their choice.

"We believe that every small action for the good of another will inspire a replication, and ultimately change the course of the universe.

This is otherwise known, in the name of my Mum Jenny, as the Butterfly Effect …"

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