Speakers Profile - Avril Henry

Travels From:

Avril Henry is the founder of the Sydney-based management consultancy firm Avril Henry Pty Ltd and an internationally acclaimed keynote speaker, author, coach and provocateur, who is passionate about diversity, and transforming old leadership models and workplace practices. Avril Henry graduated from the University of Cape Town in Accounting and Economics, migrating to Australia in 1980, with two suitcases, $500 and a dream to live freely and make a difference. Avril’s career has spanned senior roles in Finance, IT, Project Management, Change Management and HR across multiple industries and countries.

In 2016 Avril was named one of the AFR Westpac’s 100 Women of Influence, and one of the 10 most influential women in the Diversity & Equity space. 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 a 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 as one of the most inspiring businesswomen and female leaders. Avril has received the Coaching Leadership Award at the Global HR Excellence Awards.

Avril is a Fellow of CPA Australia, a Senior Fellow of the Financial Services Institute of Australasia, a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Management, a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and member of the Australian Human Resources Institute.

For over two decades, Avril has delivered over 650 keynote addresses and 400 workshops to over 200,000 people, in Australia, New Zealand, Europe, USA and Asia to companies and industries as diverse as IBM, BHP, Department of Defence, Australian Tax Office, Australian Bureau of Statistics, Queensland Health, NSW Health, NSW Police, ANZ, Westpac, Alexion Pharmaceuticals, Macquarie University, CPA Australia, Telstra, Australian Superannuation Funds Association, the Property Council of Australia, The Global Women's Summit, and various Singapore and Hong Kong government departments.

Avril Henry is an outstanding speaker and facilitator: articulate, challenging, informative, compelling, dynamic, humorous, and inspiring are just some of the words that clients have used to describe her.

Avril is a game changer who tells it like it is. A decade ago, enlistments for the Australian Armed Services was dramatically declining. Our military was attracting fewer enquiries from young Australians - less and less of our generation Ys saw any merit in a career with the navy, army or air force. That's when the government turned to Avril for help in understanding why and what might be done to reverse the trend.

Avril completed a Ministerial Review for the Minister of Defence into Recruitment and Retention in the Army, Air Force and Navy. Following the review, she 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, a committee she served on from 2006-2017. In 2013 she was appointed as a senior advisor to the Chief of Army on gender diversity, values and cultural reform, and coaches’ senior officers including Generals and Brigadiers. 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 is a regular panelist on ABC’s The Drum, and ABC radio; and contributes articles to several industry publications and newspapers. For two years Avril also 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 the author and co-author of several books on leadership and the different generations at work, and her book, Leadership Revelations II How Australians Lead In Crises, topped the Australian Financial Review BOSS magazine's best brain food books of 2012. In 2015 her latest book, Leadership Revelations III, How We Achieve the Gender Tipping Point was launched by the Chief of Army and the ASX. In 2010 she released her first children's book. In her spare time, you will find Avril completing adventure runs around the world to raise money for cancer research, including running the New York Marathon, Great Wall of China, in African game parks, and the Venice Marathon.