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Member Spotlight: 5 Minutes With Julie Lamberg-burnet, Founder/director Of Sydney School Of Protocol

ACBC (NSW) Member Spotlight: 5 minutes with… Julie Lamberg-Burnet, Founder and Director of Sydney School of Protocol

Julie Lamberg-Burnet


Founder/CEO of the Sydney School of Protocol, Julie Lamberg-Burnet brings extensive years of proven experience in building brands and transforming individuals – the Sydney School’s philosophy considers that etiquette and protocols have not changed for many centuries. It is the landscape that has changed. Across communication, the competitive job market and relationship building, people want to know how to act and behave appropriately in a range of business, personal and cultural settings. 

Interpersonal skills are an integral part of developing social and business intelligence and enhancing life skills is a prerequisite for success. Established in early 2013, the Sydney School of Protocol offers a contemporary approach in delivering internationally recognised protocol, etiquette and cultural training. 

Julie Lamberg-Burnet has been trained and certified as a consultant in corporate etiquette and international protocol by The Protocol School of Washington® - the first and only school of its kind accredited by the Accrediting Council for Continuing Education and Training and recognised by the United States Department of Education.

Tell us about your business and how you've leveraged your Australia-China connections to build your success in China?

The motivation to launch the Sydney School of Protocol in Australia was driven by my desire to help people be confident, polished and professional in both business and social settings and across cultures. 

Through the school’s focus on life skills, there has been a strong interest in the Chinese community for engaging in our Western modern etiquette and protocol programs. This has led to the delivery of tailored programs for a diverse range of clients from international banks, investor companies, and universities to individuals who engage in private coaching. 

We are the first company to bring the Protocol School of Washington accreditation to Australia, and with our team industry experts we cater for Western and Chinese clients with Mandarin speakers and translators to support our programs.

What does a typical day look like for you and what are you currently working on

Each day I work on preparing our team of experts for upcoming clients and handling inquiries from a varied array of potential clients. Individual briefs are prepared for both private clients and the specific requirements they may want and corporates, all of whom tend to have a particular need they we adapt to.

I attend meetings usually at our partner, the Sofitel Sydney Wentworth hotel, where we host our group programs and meet clients for the complimentary “needs analysis” service we offer.

We have recently launched the Wentworth Finishing program in collaboration with the Sofitel Wentworth. A series of mastery sessions designed for individuals and groups including dining and hosting skills.

Right now, we are currently preparing for a Business Etiquette Program delivered in Sydney for a major international bank and to be launched in Melbourne next month.

What would you say are the five key elements for starting and running a successful business in/with China?

  • Be clear on what you can offer to add value and a point of difference
  • Be prepared to be patient and develop relationships over time
  • Be open to sharing your expertise and gaining trust
  • Be flexible
  • Become an expert on Chinese cultural nuances, etiquette and business protocols

How do you go about marketing your business in Australia/China and what has contributed to this success?

With the support of colleagues and associates I gained knowledge of the Chinese market in Australia through a lot of networking and attending of functions and seminars.

A lot of patience was involved and talking with many people with some results forthcoming and some not.

One aspect that did assist us to gain market recognition was developing one of our signature programs, Becoming a Global Corporate Citizen launched with The University of Adelaide.

Through this programme we have gained a reputation for providing graduates and students with an opportunity to become “career / world ready” - skills and confidence students do not necessarily gain from the education or university systems, and we have found many Asian students are looking for this assistance. 

You have been very successful to date, but there have no doubt been challenges - what's been your biggest challenge that you have overcome in your business journey with China?

Patience, patience, patience and not giving away IP.

What's your motto/mantra?

I am proud of my business and where we have reached and touched many people. It gives both myself and my colleagues immense satisfaction to help and send people on their paths into the future.