Avril Henry is a game changer who tells it like it is. She is an internationally acclaimed keynote speaker, author, leadership strategist and provocateur, who is passionate about diversity, and transforming old leadership models and workplace practices.
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. The talent pool was seriously depleted. That’s when the government turned to Avril Henry, 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.
In September 2015 Avril was named as one of the 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 has received several business awards in Australia and the USA, for her diversity strategies and programs. In 2006 she received the prestigious Lifetime Achievement in HR Award at the Australian Human Resources Awards, and in 2012 was awarded a global award for Excellence in Leadership Coaching.
For 2 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. She is the author and co-author of several books on leadership and the different generations at work, and her previous book, Leadership Revelations II How Australians Lead In Crises, was one of the Australian Financial Review BOSS magazine’s top 5 brain food books of 2012. Her latest book, Leadership Revelations III How We Achieve the Gender Tipping Point was launched by the Chief of Army in May 2015.
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.
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.– Keith Suter, Political Commentator and Managing Director (Global Dire)
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.– Darren Watt, Managing Director Australasia (Golder Associates Pty Ltd )
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
Did you realise your leadership ability will ultimately determine the degree of your success? In this book, Avril joins twelve other extraordinary people who have mastered the art of leadership, and provide their personal insights on becoming an exceptional person of influence.
In this constantly evolving world, it is crucial to build inclusive, collaborative relationships that enable us to achieve personal, professional and organisational goals. Inspiring Tomorrow’s Leaders Today brings a unique approach to this highly topical issue and dispels many of the myths and stereotypes.
Leadership Revelations – An Australian Perspective provides insights from our top business and organisational leaders. The book addresses important skills that can be developed, and the case for creating positive work environments.
The concept of Leadership Revelations II How Australians Lead In Crises was to revisit past contributors & introduce some new contributors to ask them how operating in a financial crisis of global significance, coupled with global and domestic political instability, has changed both their organisation and their own leadership style.
This is not a book about problems and what’s wrong with women, it is a book which seeks to reveal practical strategies for creating solutions and change management options for creating gender equality for all, women and men. This is not a book about fixing women – women don’t need fixing – the system and our attitudes do!