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Avril Henry is the Founder and Executive Director of Avril Henry & Associates. She is an acclaimed keynote speaker, consultant, coach, mentor and author, who is passionate about diversity and inclusion, and developing collaborative leaders. Over 16 years her consulting business has worked with organisations to change their culture and build their leadership capability. Avril’s career has spanned senior roles in finance, project management, change management and HR in South Africa, Australia, the UK and USA.

In 2015 Avril was named one of the AFR Westpac 100 Women of Influence in Australia, and one of the 10 most influential women in the diversity space. She has been recognised by the Human Rights Commission and received business awards in Australia and the USA. She has received the prestigious Lifetime Achievement in HR Award at the Australian HR Awards and received a global award for Excellence in Leadership Coaching.

Avril has been a senior advisor on cultural transformation, gender and diversity to the Chief of Defence, Chief of Army, Australia; the ACT Commissioner of Emergency Services and was a member of the Navy People & Capability Committee. Avril has coached Generals and Brigadiers in the Australian Army, DFAT ambassadors and CEO’s. Her clients cover banks, mining, construction, IT, health, universities, pharmaceuticals, and state & federal government departments

She is the author and co-author of several books on leadership, the different generations at work and gender. Avril regularly appears on TV on The Drum and ABC national radio and writes for several business magazines. She lives in Sydney with her husband and two Spoodles, who keep her grounded!


We were promised a world class performance and you delivered. The feedback we have received about your presentation was stupendous and you were certainly one of our greatest hits.

Partner – Min-it Software

A level of passion and energy that kept attendees engaged till the end!

EXECUTIVE LEVEL LEADERSHIP – Level network annual forum Australian public service commission

Everyone at the meeting really enjoyed Avril’s time with us, finding her presentation and our conversation thought-provoking and stimulating.

Practice Leader, Organisational Development & Learning – BHP Billiton


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.

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?

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 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 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.

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.

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.

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