Avril Henry

Communication skills, leadership and human relations.


Avril Henry is a game-changer who tells it like it is. She is an internationally-acclaimed keynote speaker, author, leadership strategist, coach and provocateur who is passionate about diversity, and transforming old leadership models and workplace practices.

Current work

Avril is a Fellow of CPA Australia, a Senior Fellow of the Financial Services Institute of Australasia, an Associate Fellow of the Australian Institute of Management, a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and Australian Human Resources Institute. Her corporate experience spans finance, IT, Human Resources and change management across mining; financial services; retail banking; professional services and investment banking; working in South Africa, Australia, Europe and USA.

Previous experience

Government: In 2013 she was appointed as an advisor to the Chief of Army on projects including gender diversity, values and culture, coaches several senior officers, and is the only civilian on the Army’s Gender and Diversity Executive Council, chaired by the Chief of Army. She completed a Ministerial Review for the Minister of Defence in 2006 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 and Capability Committee, being the only civilian on the committee and remains the longest serving member. 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.

Leadership: Avril delivered a three-year leadership program to gifted scholarship students at the University of Western Sydney, in addition to their academic studies, to better prepare them for leadership positions in the future from 2008-2013.

Awards: In 2012 Avril received the Coaching Leadership Award at the Global HR Excellence Awards in Mumbai, India. In the same year she was invited to attend a global Leadership Best Practices program at Harvard Business School in the USA and was invited by the lecturers and her class mates to speak at the closing dinner. 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 six years as one of the most inspiring businesswomen and female leaders.

Clients: Her clients include IBM, BHP, Perseus Mining, Department of Defence, ATO, ACCC, Leighton Contractors, NSW Health, Alexion Pharmaceuticals, Australian Public Service Commission, Westpac, CBA, University of Western Sydney, CPA Australia, Optus, Telstra, Australian Superannuation Funds Association, and various organisations and government departments across Asia.

Radio: For two 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 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.

Marathons: 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 recently the Venice Marathon.


Talking Points
Self-Leadership = The Power of One
Leading the Future Workforce
Engaging and Understanding all Generations
The Recipe for Success = EQ + Resilience
Opening our Minds to Diversity
The Leader of the Future