About Us

Founded in Melbourne, Australia in 2003, Apricot Consulting is a global consulting firm focusing on the human side of business to drive both commercial and social outcomes. 


We believe an organisations most valuable asset is its people. This belief has been reaffirmed by our years of experience in leadership training, Executive coaching, culture change, corporate social responsibility, and digital transformation.  

Apricot’s approach is to co-create solutions with the partners we work with.  We are not an ‘external expert’ who simply offers generic advice and recommendations without support. Nor do we offer only our own or select IP.  We work alongside leaders, utilising the best tools for the task, to unlock the power leaders possess to change their own organisation.

Our Values

Authentic: We are honest, loyal and always act with integrity.  We are transparent with everyone we work with. We are genuine and enjoy nothing more than hearing of the positive difference we have made.  We are equitable, ethical and demand the same from those we work with.  We deliver - what we say is what we do


Adventurous: We are bold and not afraid to try out new methods, ideas, or experiences - this is not only the key to creativity but the way we improve.  We love taking our clients on a journey.  We’re not always sure of the destination or how we’re going to get there but we know which direction we’re heading in


Curious: We think outside the box and challenge the status quo.  We provide a fresh perspective.  We are problem solvers who are always looking to improve and find a better way. We know the right questions to ask, when to ask them and take the time to listen and understand


Collaborative: We are a diverse group of people who are stronger than the sum of our parts.  We work as one across geographical and political boundaries.  We are not afraid to have the hard discussions.  Everyone’s opinion is valued.  We know our limits and where appropriate, engage external resources to deliver the best possible outcomes for our clients


Resilient: We will do whatever it takes to deliver the best possible outcome for our client, whilst staying true to our values and our client’s vision.  We know that change is hard, but use our experience and empathy to make the transition as smooth as possible. We always find a way.

Derek Linsell
Founder and Chairman
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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. 

James Natsis
Chief Executive Officer
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James brings expertise in business strategy, team and leadership development, 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).

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

Avril Gaughan
Head of Change and Consumer Behaviour
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James McHugh
Head of Corporate Social Impact 
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James brings expertise in leadership and team development, he has experience managing teams and coaching leaders across various industries. With Apricot, James has delivered leadership training programs and leadership coaching in the retail industry.


James McHugh is a qualified social worker and is currently completing a Master of Business Administration (Social Impact) at Swinburne University. With Apricot, James helps organisations with their corporate social impact strategies programs and not for profit and social enterprise engagement and relationship management.

Annie Leong
Operations Manager
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Annie brings a wealth of multidisciplinary expertise in operations, financial management, human resources and IT management.


She has more than 15 years of experience working in various consulting, education and not-for-profit organisations. Annie has a Masters of Business in Information Technology and Bachelor of Economics.

Prior to working at Apricot Consulting Felicity was HR Director at Wesley College. Felicity brings expertise in organisation development, team and leadership development, talent management, strategic workforce planning and human resource management. Felicity’s background includes working in global and national organisations across a range of sectors including Banking, Oil and Gas, Education and Not-for-Profit.

Felicity Kaaks
Executive Director People & Organisation
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Rebecca Evans
Executive Consultant - Future of Work
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Rebecca has more than 10 years in HR across industries ranging from financial services, non-profit and most recently as Group Executive for a high growth technology company.


She has a successful track record of delivering creative people solutions, leading and managing the people elements of transformation change and designing employee experiences that attract and retain a millennial workforce.

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