Avril Henry

Keynote speaker, author, facilitator and corporate motivator

Avril Henry is the founder of the Sydney-based management consultancy firm Avril Henry Pty Ltd and an internationally acclaimed keynote speaker, author, leadership strategist and provocateur, who is passionate about diversity, and transforming old leadership models and workplace practices.

Avril is also one of Australia's most inspiring business women and female leaders. Since 2009 she has been included in the Australian Who's Who of Women.

For over a decade, Avril has delivered hundreds of keynote addresses to over 120,000 people in Australia, New Zealand, Europe, USA and Asia to companies and industries as diverse as CEDA, IBM, BHP, Department of Defence, Australian Tax Office, Australian Bureau of Statistics, Queensland Health, NSW Health, NSW Police, ANZ, Westpac, Alexion Pharmaceuticals, UTS, Macquarie University, CPA Australia, Telstra, Mortgage Industry Association of Australia, Australian Superannuation Funds Industry, Real Estate Industry Association, the Property Council of Australia, The Global Women's Summit, and various Singapore and Hong King government departments.

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

More about Avril Henry:

Avril Henry is a game changer who tells it like it is. A few years back, 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. 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. 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.

Avril is a well-respected and sought-after authority on leadership, organisational change, gender differences and intergenerational issues facing contemporary workplaces. Her 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.

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 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 regularly featured on radio and TV, and contributes articles to several industry publications and newspapers. She 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.

Avril Henry speaks about:

Avril's most popular keynotes include:

  • 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 the Power of One.
  • Leading the Future Workforce: Rapidly ageing populations and workforces in educated societies, along with 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?
  • The Leader of the Future: What will it take to lead the workforce of the future? 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. Are your people and your organisation emotionally intelligent and resilient?
  • Opening our Minds to Diversity: Diversity leadership 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.
  • Avril Henry is universally regarded as a outstanding presenter and facilitator. She is passionate, engaging, challenging and authoritative - a true leader and motivator.

    Client testimonials

    Cutting through all of the generational hype and bluster one person stands apart: Avril Henry. She tells it like it is and she tells it from the heart. Her conviction is palpable, her research is credible and her anecdotes are anchored in fact.

    Bernard Salt, Demographer, KPMG

    Fluent, captivating and authoritive presenter. A five-star performance; the highlight of the Congress. Great help for future reference and challenges ahead.

    CPA Australia National Congress

    Avril’s presentation was excellent, she had people talking about Gen X and Y for the whole Forum. Everyone was impressed with her knowledge of the topic, speaking without notes. She truly captivated the audience.

    Institute of Body Corporate Managers

    In the past 12 months, Avril has conducted a series of management workshops for me aimed at growing and developing management skills, particularly focusing on emotional intelligence. Again her energy and commitment to develop high quality managers impressed everyone. Avril is very passionate about people development and takes every opportunity to sell her compelling messages to audiences across Australia.

    Commonwealth Bank

    I now understand fully why you elect not to use a power point presentation. You managed to maintain the full attention of our guests for the duration of your presentation with your wonderful content and style. You are very obviously passionate about your topic and it shows. Your ability to hone in on this particular audience and the relevance to their investments was excellent. The feedback I received was that your presentation was very entertaining and fresh and that the facts rang true with so many present.

    First Samuel Ltd

    Avril is a clear and strategic thinker and an excellent sounding-board. She has helped me to improve my communication and listening skills through practical applications. She has also assisted me in enhancing my strategic focus across our organisation. Head of Finance,

    Banking & Financial Institution

    An excellent choice to provide the closing session, as she bought a level of passion and energy that kept attendees engaged till the end.

    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.

    RCSA Conference

    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.

    Golder Associates Pty Ltd