People have asked me for years, in fact since I founded The Percy Institute in 1992… “Who is going to be interested in a school coaching and consulting about etiquette and manners?”  And I was informed in the early days of the business…“Louise, it’s just going to be a small cottage industry run from home”.

Well, I have proven the sceptics wrong!

Over the 29 years that I have been running The Percy Institute as an etiquette consultant I have, with my various teams, coached and consulted with literally thousands of clients.

And why did I choose to be an etiquette consultant? I had never previously thought of this path as a career…but life got in the way and my journey changed. When I look back,  it really all happened as a result of my background. Through my family I had a military upbringing as my late father was a senior Royal Australian Naval officer.  After leaving school I had the opportunity to work with the Department of Foreign Affairs and spent time at the Australian Embassy in Washington D.C.  On returning to Australia I was employed as an Executive Assistant in the Press Office of then Australian Prime Minister Gough Whitlam, and following his dismissal worked in a more senior capacity in the Press Office of Australian Prime Minister, Malcolm Fraser. 

When I married my husband was an international corporate lawyer.  Our son was born in London and on our return to Australia I could see that the Social and Business Etiquette I had encountered in Europe and the UK was not practiced in Australia.  And also there seemed to be little appreciation or understanding of the cultural nuances and manners of our nearby Asian neighbours at a time when Australia was increasingly trading in the ever expanding “World Global Village”. Having completed a BA at the University of Western Australia in modern history (particularly the modern history and culture of China) I was fascinated by the suggestion of a WA politician to turn my inherent skills and knowledge of social and business etiquette and manners and Chinese cultural awareness into a business. After two years of research I launched The Percy Institute and one of my first clients was the Office of the Premier of Western Australia.

While Perth, Western Australia has always been the main base for The Percy Institute, for 5 years in the early 2000’s I had The Percy Institute registered in Singapore and with a Singaporean business partner maintained a full time office and trained hundreds of clients.  During that 5 year period, we also trained Chinese clients from our representative Shanghai office. At that time, I had put about 20 clients through our Train the Trainer Social and Business Etiquette and Manners Program, and they were able to conduct our programs bilingually.

In 2021 The Percy Institute and I remain faithful to my original vision.

I have always wanted to assist in giving people, whether in the business environment or socially, confidence to be the very best version they can of themselves.  And to understand that at the very heart of what I understand to be etiquette is the ability to show respect and confidence to all.

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