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About

AVENIR means future. It comes with a sense of anticipation; of something that lies ahead. It captures both the kind of work that we do, and the types of people we do it with.

We know that the future isn’t passive. It doesn’t just happen to us. We shape it with every decision we make and action we take.

That’s why leaders shape the future.

OUR STORY:

AVENIR is an organisation committed to working with future-focused organisations as we cultivate leaders that can shape the landscape of tomorrow.

OUR LEADERSHIP:

We have a particular approach when it comes to leadership development, one which helps form leaders for the kind of future that leads to flourishing for all, but as with any organisation our ethos and ethic is born from our story and team. Let us give you a snapshot of both:

AVENIR Leadership Institute is an initiative of the Carey Group, which today employs over 370 people working in the education, childcare, hospitality and not for profit sector. Founded by Carey Community Baptist Church in the 1990’s it is named after pioneer missionary William Carey, whose encouragement to “expect great things from God; attempt great things for God” continues to inspire the movement and is summarised in its byline “Attempt the extraordinary”. 

Strongly driven by its values and ideals, Carey is committed to help build a world where all can flourish. AVENIR Leadership Institute is an integral part of this vision, as it explores the kind of world it would like to see birthed, and then aims to develop the leaders needed to make this possible. Hence AVENIR’s byline, “the world we see – the leaders we need”. 

Committed to deep listening and transformative leadership practices, AVENIR shapes leaders who make a positive difference. From its surpluses, AVENIR helps support the Carey Right Track Foundation which empowers indigenous, remote and rural communities through athletics. It also supports Carey Hope, which fosters empowering educational relationships between Carey and some of the most disadvantaged communities around the world.

OUR TEAM:

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Brian Harris

Director

With extensive experience leading organisations and boards in both the education and NFP sectors, Brian brings a wealth of expertise and passion to his work. He is an internationally recognised author in the areas of theology and leadership, a cultural thought-leader, a popular speaker and presenter and an expert in matters relating to education and governance. Brian combines sage-like wisdom with creativity and innovation in order to strategically position individuals and organisations for success into the future.

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Jennifer Argue

Executive Consultant

Jennifer has been an executive leader in the education sector since 1998. She is passionate about creating cultures where people can flourish and find a community of connection and belonging. In the knowledge that organisational culture is powerfully influenced by leadership, she is committed to developing courageous and compassionate leaders who create and sustain flourishing communities. Jennifer has extensive experience on state and national boards and is regularly engaged as a coach and mentor to executive leaders.

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Jon Bergmann

Project Manager

Jon spends his time working with various organisations, charting a path toward organisational health and leadership innovation. He is passionate about leadership, culture and living well. With experience in learning and teaching across both the tertiary and vocational education sectors, Jon brings a diverse range of skills and innovations to the team. He has a focus on quality outcomes and broad picture thinking, bringing professionalism and creativity to each new project. Jon is also a sought after speaker in the areas of theology, cultural thought and leadership development. Outside of work you’ll likely find him training for a triathlon or playing board games with his children.

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Ethan Bacon

Administrative Support

As an honours psychology student, Ethan has a passion for understanding and improving leadership and leadership culture. He has developed a strong foundation in the field; including theories, research methodologies, and ethical considerations, and has gained experience through his involvement with various leading organisations. Ethan has worked on initiatives that promote a positive and inclusive culture and has seen the impact this can have on team cohesion, productivity, and overall well-being. He is eager to continue exploring the intersection of psychology and organisational culture, and does this through his work with the AVENIR team.

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Karen Siggins

Associate

Karen has many years’ experience as a leader and non-executive director in the not-for-profit sector and is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. Karen’s personal and professional motivation centres on the enduring importance of good relationships in all aspects and seasons of life. She is committed to helping individuals and organisations develop thought and action that transforms relationships towards a better lived experience in the everyday. Karen is particularly keen to facilitate conversations and develop action plans where the extreme vulnerability of some in the community is a significant cultural and social issue. Karen is an articulate, intelligent, warm and engaging speaker. Karen currently serves on state and national not for profit boards.

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Tania Watson

Associate

With extensive experience in learning and teaching across both the tertiary and vocational education sectors, Jon brings a diverse range of skills and innovations to the team. He has a focus on quality outcomes and broad picture thinking, bringing professionalism and creativity to each new project. Jon is also a sought after speaker in the areas of theology, cultural thought and leadership development.

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Emily Harris

Associate

Emily spends most of her time as a practising lawyer, focusing on criminal law, with a background in corporations law. She balances this with a passion for creativity in its many forms; through writing, music and problem solving. Emily has an eclectic experience with leadership ranging from operating a small business to being part of national agencies, bringing together professionals from different contexts as they work toward common goals. A curious, diligent and insightful member of the team, Emily is the friend you need on your research team, whether it’s trying to figure out the next best place to have dinner, or figuring out how best to tackle your next organisational hurdle.

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Jeff Miller

Associate

■ Jeff’s background is as a certified practising accountant, and also has many years of experience as a CEO of major organisations. This means he’s great with both the big picture and the execution of detail. These days, Jeff spends his time consulting with numerous companies across a range of industries, and his passion is to help them to realise their potential and make a positive impact in the world. He speaks to, consults with, and coaches executive leaders in the areas of vision, strategy, marketing and financial management. Jeff also serves on a number of boards across the country.