4 April 2024



At CCC we’re passionate about empowering and celebrating women. Our Empowering Women Series focuses on Inspiring Women who are all doing their part to help others and make positive change. Grab a cuppa and watch or read along while they share their experiences, challenges, insights and advice.



“Always believe you a braver than you believe, stronger than you seem and smarter than you think”


As Founder and Director of SMR Health Solutions, Mel Riedy comes with 20+ years of experience in the healthcare industry and is passionate about ensuring that healthcare continues to improve patient outcomes and experiences through delivery of innovative services. 

Her determination, persistence and belief in herself has allowed her to grow and evolve from a registered nurse to working with a global healthcare provider and eventually paved the way to her consulting business, where she supports organisations and individuals through change management to ultimately reach their goals and aspirations.

Hit play or read below to learn more about Mel’s thriving business, professional challenges as a working mother and her take on Australia’s Healthcare System.


Melissa Riedy Interview from Carole Cooper on Vimeo.



I’m determined and persistent and don’t shy away from difficult situations. Just because something is difficult it doesn’t mean it can’t or shouldn’t be done. If I truly believe in something, I find a way to achieve it. 

Being able to trust people in my life is important to me, it sets the foundation of a great relationship, both personal and professional.

I was a bit of a wild child in my youth. Not knowing who I was and not having a lot of guidance, I was trying to find my way and got caught up in the wrong crowds. It took me a long time to find out who I was through self development and mentors. Now I’m my authentic self. 



My early career started as registered nurse. My best friend was studying so I did it too. A pivotal moment for me was when I was faced with scenario where someone was having a cardiac arrest and I felt really ill equipped. I froze and didn’t know what to do. From that moment I wanted to make sure it never happened again so I decided to go down the career path of cardiology. I love everything about cardiology and ended up completing 2 master degrees in advanced cardiovascular nursing.

I worked in the public system for 9 years, which was really taxing on my mind and body as it involved a lot of shift work. I was approached by a Global organisation that make stents/pacemakers/equipment and ended up working for them for 12 years, which was an amazing experience. They were a large corporate organisation and I gained so much experience from clinical to sales and marketing.

While I was working in corporate, I had a phone call that my brother had a cardiac arrest and we didn’t know if he was going to survive. Only 10% of people out of hospital survive cardiac arrest. It made me question – what do I actually want to do with my life? I had to really stop and think about what I needed to do for myself and my family. 

I decided to leave the corporate world and started my own consulting/contracting business. I’d been in healthcare for approximately 20 years and over that time I’d seen a lot of projects started and not completed or weren’t started at all because there wasn’t anyone with the right skills available to run the project. I’m passionate about people reaching their goals and aspirations, and that’s how I came to the decision to go out on my own.



I like to share my opinion. I have a voice and if I truly believe in something I like to share my voice. Sometimes that opinion differs from the leaders in the room and that hasn’t always worked well for me. I think it’s really important for everyone to have a voice and have thinking diversity within an organisation. Even though it has been challenging, I think it’s actually a strength that I bring to the environment.

Being a working mum has also been challenging. When I had my first child I came back to work 12 months after having her, working part time. There was a promotion opportunity but my boss said I couldn’t be considered because I only work part time. That broke me because I’d already given a fair chunk of my time to the organisation. If I didn’t believe I could do it working part time I never would have put my hand up for the job. I had another boss come in who saw my strengths and potential and when I did take on that promotion I was managing the biggest account in Australia. I was really proud of myself for meeting my sales targets. I turned something negative into positive and proved to myself and others that I could do it.



I’ve been fortunate to have various mentors across my career. I’ve always had someone guiding me, whether they realised they were mentoring me or not. The time and experience these people have given to me has helped me step outside my comfort zone. I’ve learned over the years that to grow you need to step outside your comfort zone. I’ve always had these people pushing me to strive for my goals and to believe in myself and my abilities. There’s been times in my life when I haven’t believed in myself and held myself back because I didn’t think I was good enough to do something, but these mentors have always made me stop and realise that I need to believe in myself and to not be afraid. No one likes to do something that makes them feel uncomfortable but we need to embrace that feeling and take risks. Someone said to me years ago to trust my instincts. I now regularly use my instincts to guide me in the right direction. 



I’m a routine oriented person, especially with the children. I like to have a routine, mapping out my days and weeks. Obviously it doesn’t always go to plan, but as long as I have the majority mapped out it’s easy to tick off the boxes as we go. I always make time for myself, and this is something I’ve learned over the years. I didn’t always make time for myself but I’ve had some challenges with my health over the past couple of years and it’s made me realise that you can’t pour from an empty cup. So I need to make sure I fill my own cup first to ensure I’m the best version of myself for everyone around me. Exercising, meditating and breaks from the kids help create time for me and ensure I have a full cup. 



My business provides people with the support they need to bring their ideas and visions to life. The majority of my clients are in healthcare as this is my biggest network, but it can vary. I sit down with my clients to uncover what it is that they need help with, from planning and executing a strategy to supporting teams through change management. Every day is different. 

I strongly believe in change if it’s for the benefit of an individual, organisation or system. I don’t believe we should continue doing things a certain way just because it’s always been done that way. If there’s a way we can improve efficiencies then we should look at ways we can create change. A lot of people shy away from change because it’s hard and often not everyone is on the same page at the same time. It’s really important to interact with the organisation and individuals to involve them in any kind of change journey. They will be more invested in the change if they’re involved. A lot of people fear their job and worry they may be made redundant, but it’s often just about making better use of their time. 



This is something I’m extremely passionate about. I strongly believe if we continue to follow traditional ways of how we deliver healthcare we aren’t going to see positive changes in outcomes. The Australian Healthcare system is really buckling under the pressure of an ageing population. A lot of people are leaving the healthcare workforce but coming back in as patients so there’s a lot of pressure on healthcare workers now and stress on the healthcare system, with waiting lists of up to 2 years to see a specialist. We really need to do something different so that we can improve access to healthcare for everyone. 

There are so many digital solutions out there for different aspects of the healthcare system, freeing up hospital and GP settings for people who actually need them and can’t receive their care at home. To change this, we also need to change how things are funded. If you introduce a service that’s not funded, it won’t get used. We need to come together to figure out how we can collaborate as a group to figure this out collectively. 


You can connect with Mel on LinkedIn here