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.
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.