Our purpose is lofty but grand. Plainly, we seek to make the world a better place. We achieve this by building the health of individuals, teams, organisations, and the broader community in all of our work.
Since it’s conception two decades ago, the Apricot team have delivered outcomes and strategies that quantify and improve the health of leaders, teams, organisations and communities. While our firm has changed significantly since it’s first project in 2002, our work has always endeavoured to meet the lofty goal of genuinely making the world a better place.
Our strength is our ability to connect leaders around a shared vision of success, and importantly, walk with our clients to implement and deliver influential programs driven from the top down and holistically informed by their unique business ecosystem, both internal and external. We deliver this through the synergy of our expert consultants and in-house and external tech, including our own home-grown algorithms, the unique Apricot Health Index ™ digital assessment, the integration of complex artificial intelligence, as well as a suite of partnerships with world leading institutions and organisations to ensure our client's commercial peace-of-mind and the knowledge that their work will leave a legacy.
We deliver this through the synergy of our expert consultants and in-house and external tech, including our own home-grown algorithms, the unique Apricot Health Index ™ digital assessment, the integration of complex artificial intelligence, as well as a suite of partnerships with world leading institutions and organisations to ensure our client's commercial peace-of-mind and the knowledge that their work will leave a legacy.
MA, BTh, BEc
Founder & Advisory Board Member
Derek founded Apricot Consulting in 2003 following a distinguished career in the not-for-profit and business consultancy sectors. During this time he was part of the executive team of Medibank Private (Australia’s largest Health Insurer) as well as conducting consulting work for other major Australian corporations in construction, higher education, utilities, energy, healthcare and not-for-profit.
Derek influences organisations by leading programs and ideas that bring openness and transformation.
Advisory Board Member
Over the last 16 years, Mike has held a number of esteemed roles in Australian universities, including Provost at the ANU, Provost at the University of Tasmania, DVC R at Newcastle and PVC (Health & Medical Research) at Wollongong. In addition to his distinguished university leadership career, Mike has been an eminent researcher in the field of neuroscience. He also worked overseas at the University of Oxford, the University of California Irvine and City University of New York. Mike is presently engaged as Institute Director at the Hunter Medical Research Institute, Chair of the Board of INTERSECT, senior advisor to the Australian Education Management Group, and undertakes higher education sector consulting through Wells Advisory.
Mark is a Non Executive Director of Bankstown and Camden Airports, and environmental consultant EMM Consulting. Prior to this he held CEO roles for 17 years in the infrastructure, engineering, construction and mining sectors.
Mark is passionate about developing businesses and the people who lead them. He has lived and worked across Australia including regional and remote locations.
Advisory Board Member
Jane is an accomplished Senior Human Resources Executive with over 20 years experience in various industries including Financial Services, Technology, Agriculture, Insurance and Professional Sport across Asia Pacific, Europe, and the US. She spent many years working for Citigroup in progressively senior roles before moving to the AFL to head up their HR team and then moved to New York to work for American Express and MasterCard. She was the Interim Chief People & Culture Officer for AIA Australia and since March 2021 is the Chief People & Culture Officer for Australian Red Cross.
EMBA, MA, BAppSc, BEng
Chief Executive Officer
James brings expertise in business strategy, innovation, team and leadership development, culture change & change management, and digital transformation.
James’ background has included senior roles in corporate and not for profit settings. He also has experience working across all industries, and working with large global clients. James has an Executive MBA (Distinction).
Head of Corporate Social Sustainability
James McHugh is a qualified social worker and is currently completing an Executive MBA, specialising in Social Impact.
He leads the corporate social impact department of Apricot Consulting which seeks to help organisations with their corporate social impact programs, social and environmental impact strategies and not for profit and social enterprise engagement and relationship management. James also has extensive management coaching experience having coached hundreds of people leaders and managers across a range of industries.
Head of Partnerships
Ben holds an extensive background in executive leadership development and human resources, having led operations for major divisions for a number of leading providers within executive search, primarily within the healthcare and academia industry.
Ben’s experience centres on the development and identification of executive talent, and in management and advisory of corporate HR strategy. He is passionate about the development of sustainable, holistically positive culture.
MAppCom, BArts, PCC
Senior Leadership Development Consultant
A strategic executive leader is known for solving complex sales, marketing, and product development problems to achieve company goals. Rajiv’s purpose is to improve the world by developing authentic leaders and value-creating teams.
Rajiv’s industry experience includes Executive Manager - Marketing for realesate.com.au’s Media business, Head of Product and Marketing roles across the retail energy industry and digital and marketing at ANZ. Rajiv has a Master of Applied Commerce and a Bachelor of Arts (Double Major Criminology and Sociology). He is also a PCC level certified coach with the International Coaching Federation.
Leanne has over 30 years of working with public, private and not-for-profit organisations – gaining cross sector understanding and broad experience.
Working with people across multiple sectors, Leanne is experienced in delivering workforce
development solutions that equip people for success and strengthen teams and outcomes.
She is interested in the whole person, and in looking at the ways aligning personal and organisational values build into both individual’s lives and the organisation.
Deborah is a business analyst with a strong sense of community. Passionate about continuous improvement, she uses agile methodologies, data and research to lead decisions. Focusing on sustainable, ethical and human-centred solutions, she led teams in industries like construction, service, start-ups and technology.
Deborah holds a bachelor's degree in business administration and a diploma in Project Management. She has also engaged in professional development courses for the past years at institutions, such as Yale, Michigan University, Google, INCO Academy and more.
MBA, AdvCertHumResOps, BAppSc
Director of Leadership & Change
An accomplished and visionary executive leader, with a successful track record in designing and delivering strategy, change, culture and leadership development programs to support organisations’ strategic goals.
Lana’s industry experience includes higher education sector, engineering, manufacturing, agriculture, and defence. Lana has a Master of Business Administration and a Bachelor of Applied Science (Health Promotion).
MBIT, GDipBusSys, BEc
Head of Digital & Operations
Annie oversees Apricot's digital, operations, finance and technology. Annie brings a wealth of multidisciplinary expertise in operations, financial management, resource & project management, systems management and quality management from various technology consulting, education and not-for-profit organisations.
Annie holds a Master of Business in Information Technology, a Graduate Diploma in Business Systems with Distinction and a Bachelor of Economics.
MBA, PGDipBusMgt, BSc
Head of Social Impact and Innovation Strategy
A skilled public sector professional with expertise in operations, policy and planning, monitoring and evaluation. Fiona has worked for over 25 years in programs committed to social change and social impact, predominantly in the education sector. She brings with her experience in working with and across different levels of stakeholders, that come with different perspectives and objectives, to achieve as close to win-win solutions as are possible. Fiona holds an MBA in Strategic Management, a PG Diploma in Business Management, and a Health Science under-graduate degree.
Head of Change & Consumer Behaviour
Prior to working at Apricot Consulting, Avril was the Change Lead at Chemist Warehouse working on digital, process and cultural change initiatives.
Avril brings behaviour change, digital transformation and human resource management expertise. Avril has 10 years experience in professional services, utilities, education and retail. She spent 7 years of her career working with PwC in their human resources and change consultancy supporting clients to solve business problems
Senior Change Manager
A skilled business leader with expertise in organisational change management, transformation projects and Human Resources. Anna loves engagements where she is able to utilise her outstanding interpersonal skills to leverage strong outcomes that deliver business benefits. Anna has a natural ability to ‘connect the dots’ and engage with senior stakeholders, whist planning a thorough and creative Organisational Change program. She is a natural leader with exceptional organisation skills and a proven ability to create a team that thrives and delivers successful outcomes. Anna holds an Executive MBA and Advanced Diploma in Business (Human Resources).