Avril Henry is a highly respected author, leadership strategist, an authority on organisational change, gender differences and intergenerational issues facing contemporary workplaces. Her impressive corporate experience spans Finance, IT, Human Resources and Change Management across Mining; Financial Services; Retail Banking; IT Professional Services; Investment Banking; and Legal Professional Services, working in South Africa, Australia, Europe and USA.
Avril was appointed as a Strategic Advisor to the Chief of Navy, and joined the Navy's People & Capability Committee, being the first female and only civilian on the committee. In 2013 she was appointed as a senior advisor to the Chief of Army on gender diversity, values and cultural reform, and coach’s senior officers.
The result of her work has been a repositioning of the military services to young Australians and a significant increase in recruits, and more recently, cultural transformation of the Army. She convinced both the government and our military leaders to recognise that times had changed; there were different motivations across the generations and there needed to be a change in approach to a generation that had only known peace.
Over the past decade Avril has won the prestigious Lifetime Achievement in HR Award and been a finalist for Best HR Director at the Australian Human Resources Awards; been finalist in the Sydney Business Review Business Woman of the Year, recognised by the NSW government as part of International Women's Day; nominated multiple times for the Telstra Businesswoman of the Year, and been honoured in the Australian Who’s Who of Women for the past 6 years as one of the most inspiring businesswomen and female leaders.
For several years Avril had a weekly radio program with the ABC as the resident expert on workplace relations and HR, which was broadcast to 16 countries in Asia. She is regularly featured on radio and TV, and contributes articles to several industry publications and newspapers.
Avril is the author and co-author of several books on leadership and the different generations at work, and her latest book,
Leadership Revelations II How Australians Lead In Crises, topped the Australian Financial Review BOSS magazine’s best brain food books of 2012. In 2010 she released her first children’s book.
In her spare time you will find her completing adventure runs around the world to raise money for cancer research and Camp Quality including running the New York Marathon, Great Wall of China, in African game parks, and recently the Venice Marathon.
Self-Leadership - The Power of One
You cannot lead others unless you know how to lead yourself first. Self-leadership is about choices, self-awareness, self-belief and backing yourself. It is about taking care of yourself, before taking care of others. Self-care leads to self-preservation and a greater ability to lead others successfully. It is about the Power of One.
Leading the Future Workforce
In the year 2050.....rapidly ageing populations and workforces in educated societies over the next three decades, global skills shortages and population growth confined to the 50 poorest countries in the world will create new and complex problems in society and business. Will you be prepared? Technology, science, medicine, agriculture, mining, and the way we live and work will have changed radically and nothing will be as it was. Business models, strategic workforce planning and leadership styles will need to adapt now to ensure sustainable, corporate socially responsible and profitable businesses in the future.
The Leader of the Future
What will it take to lead the workforce of the future? By 2020 40% of the workforce will consist of Gen Ys, and Gen Zs will then be part of the workforce. Generation X will be the new senior managers and Baby Boomers will dominate boards in the private sector. This keynote is based on extensive interviews with over 100 successful leaders and future leaders and will give you a detailed insight into the characteristics required of future leaders.
Engaging & Understanding all Generations
Each generation in the workplace has different expectations of the organisation, career development, learning and development and their leaders, and are motivated by different things. Understanding these differences and harnessing the uniqueness of each generation enables managers and leaders to motivate and manage each generation for maximum employee engagement, productivity and performance.
The Recipe for Success = EQ + Resilience
According to Harvard Business School research, the greatest predictor of success in the future will not be in an individual’s IQ, it will be their EQ (Emotional Intelligence), and their resilience; their ability to pick themselves up from personal or professional hardships or problems, and move forward in a new, positive way. Their EQ will determine their success at influencing people, building relationships and valuing diversity. Are your people, and is your organisation emotionally intelligent and resilient?
Opening our Minds to Diversity
Diversity leadership is about understanding the value and strength of difference. It is about harnessing the strengths of gender, age, culture, disability, flexibility, and different ways of thinking, working, managing and leading. True diversity leadership results in creativity, innovation, and an environment where employees are encouraged to be the best they can be. On the other hand, conformity delivers more of the same old attitudes and problems, and cannot solve the problems of the future with existing thinking and methodologies.
An excellent choice to provide the closing session, as she bought a level of passion and energy that kept attendees engaged till the end. Speech was fabulous. I really enjoyed listening to her and think she had a very savvy interpretation of the generations and what they want from work. Outstanding. I perceived her session as the most relevant as Ms Henry gave me the ideas that I can action immediately.
Participants| Executive Leadership Level Annual Forum |Australian Public Service Commission
I simply loved your presentation. As a professional MC, I see countless professional speakers each year, many of whom do not live up to the hype. You totally exceeded all the great things I have heard about you from colleagues on the circuit over the years. It was a terrific, insightful, thoroughly engaging presentation and many of the delegates were talking about it for the next few days.
Avril has the business savvy that many organisations dream of. Her messages are always challenging and to ignore them, you do so at your peril.
Managing Director Australasia |Golder Associates Pty Ltd
Avril has been a pioneer in cautioning people – particularly the stale pale males like me – that not all people think alike. The 1960s and 1970s showed the importance of gender, race and multiculturalism. Generational differences are now also significant, as we transition from the Baby Boomers to Generation X and Generation Y. Over the decades Avril has been the warning voice alerting us to the importance of these matters. She is no longer a voice in the wilderness, because much of what she has had to say has now become conventional wisdom. Avril shows once again that leadership matters: leaders make a difference.
Political Commentator and Managing Director |Global Directions
Avril is an outstanding facilitator, and is obviously passionate about providing people with the tools and skills they need to make the most of their opportunities in life. Her ability to motivate and communicate with human beings is without peer.
Leadership Program Participant
Fluent, captivating and authoritive presenter. A five-star performance; the highlight of the Congress. Great help for future reference and challenges ahead.
Delegate, CPA Australia National Congress
A leader in her field, Avril delivers a straight shooting message which must be listed to.