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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.


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


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.



Brian Harris


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.


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.


Jon Bergmann

Senior Consultant: Policy & Strategy

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.


Ethan Bacon


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.


Tania Watson


Through her work, Tania seeks to help people see and better understand the context in which they live and work. Seeing and understanding are key tools in helping people to live and work together in ways that best contribute to the flourishing of organisations and communities. Tania works as an Executive Minister at a large independent church in WA, is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD), and is an accredited Professional Ministry Supervisor (AAOS). She sits on multiple boards, and is an experienced leader at the executive level. Through her doctoral work and ongoing practice, Tania has developed a set of relational, organisational and leadership frameworks that seek to empower people and organisations in their leadership growth. These lie at the heart of Tania’s own leadership and speaking practice. You can learn more about Tania at


Emily Harris


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.


Aaron Chidgzey

Project Manager

Aaron has spent years working in the world of academia and pastoral support. He is creative, and brings a diversity of skills, and eye for detail, and a level of organisation to his role that enables efficient completion of projects from inception to completion. He has spent a big portion of his career in the tertiary education sector, and has been responsible for the development of a number of training and learning programs. He has a particular interest in elevating the humanity of organisations in order to help people find purpose and enjoyment in their work.


Karen Siggins


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.