HCA Core staff

A core team of dedicated, innovative and analytical professionals are at the heart of HCA. The team is ably led by Lee Ridoutt, who is the company founder and principal consultant. The core team consists of…


Lee Ridoutt Principal Consultant

BSc (UNSW), MA Education & Work (Macquarie University)

Lee is a strategic planner specialising in the health sector and in human resources. Lee has specific skills in working with, managing and analysing health sector problems, in particular through the design and evaluation of workforce interventions to overcome service delivery problems. He has extensive health service and organisational evaluation research experience, underpinned by a philosophy espousing primacy of customer needs in assessing the appropriateness of service delivery.
Lee has over 30 years experience in professional, consulting and line management roles. Much of this experience has been gained in the health industry. For many years he worked in Asia consulting to a range of British, American and Australian companies, and still conducts occasional consultancy assignments in developing countries such as Papua-New Guinea establishing human resource information systems. His consultancy clients include some of the major United Nations organisations such as UNICEF, UNDP and the World Bank.
In Australia he has worked in, and consulted to public and private sector organisations in such diverse industries as health, welfare, plastics, chemicals, metals, construction and finance. Lee has been commissioned to conduct a number of reviews/evaluations of organisations, systems and whole industries for workforce planning.
Prior to becoming a consultant, Lee was employed for eight years in the NSW Department of Health, the last 4 years as the Director of Health Workforce Planning. During his employment in NSW Health, he designed and planned health workforce policies to optimise the delivery of health care. Since forming HCA Lee has continued to undertake many health workforce planning projects, helping to establish HCA’s reputation in this comparatively niche field of consultancy. Lee has been intimately involved in all HCA projects.


Contact Lee Ridoutt


Carla Cowles Senior Project Manager

BSc (Syd), GradDipSciComm (ANU), Cert IV in TAE

Carla brings a diverse background of skills, knowledge and experience in health to Human Capital Alliance which she has developed over the last decade working across non-government and government sectors. She has a background in science communication, experience in health research and brings a knowledge and understanding of mental health issues, the non-government & government mental health sector and knowledge of health promotion in regard to tobacco and smoking cessation.

Carla has experience in qualitative and quantitative health research, program evaluation, conducting literature reviews and report writing. Her specific skills include designing surveys and interview schedules, conducting key informant interviews, focus groups, and data collation and analysis.

In addition to research, Carla also brings her strong capabilities in group facilitation, stakeholder consultation and client liaison and negotiation. She is a qualified trainer/facilitator and assessor and is passionate about creating engaging learning environments for adult learners and is always looking for ways to improve her skills in group facilitation. She has experience as a trainer in Smoking Cessation for Mental Health Support Workers and has trained workers in the non-government and government sector. She also has experience in developing and designing health promotion resources and training courses.

Prior to joining HCA, Carla worked within the non-government mental health sector examining and developing strategies to address the impact of tobacco on socially disadvantaged populations. She has a strong interest in the role of behaviour change for positive health outcomes and has experience in working with non-government organisations to implement change management processes and strategic planning to initiate cultural change.

Carla has been involved in a number of HCA projects such as for the Department of Health, the Pharmacy Guild, Department of Veteran Affairs, the Australasian Society for HIV Medicine and Manufacturing Skills Australia and she recently conducted the Physical Health Research project, with the University of Sydney, for the Mental Health Coordinating Council and an evaluation for Cancer Council NSW for the Tackling Tobacco program.

Contact Carla Cowles

Debbie Stanford

Debbie Stanford Senior Consultant

B Soc Wk (UQ), Masters L Arch (UCan)

After commencing her professional career as a social worker in acute health care and community settings, Debbie spent more than two decades working across a broad range of Commonwealth and state government health funding, policy and program development initiatives. The majority of this time was spent working on national health and aged care policy and funding initiatives. This experience has resulted in a comprehensive understanding of national policy development processes and the legislative and funding frameworks that support high quality service delivery to consumers. Debbie has a strong and successful stakeholder consultation record, with particular expertise in identifying and exploring the nexus between government policy requirements and stakeholder perspectives and negotiating pathways forward.

Debbie’s content expertise includes workforce analysis and development strategies, rural and remote health service provision models, consumer-led models for aged care and disability support strategies, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander service access strategies, and the development and implementation of quality and safety management frameworks for health systems, services and professions. She has a detailed understanding of the Medicare funding arrangements, legislation and management arrangements and spent over a decade working on various aspects of the role and funding of diagnostic services in health service provision.

Since joining HCA in 2014, Debbie has applied her skills and content knowledge to a range of projects that have included workforce analysis and development activities, evaluation projects and qualitative research.   These activities have involved review and analysis of relevant literature, preparation of ethics applications, design and implementation of survey and qualitative research tools, consultation with consumers, professionals, managers and public sector policy advisors and program managers, analysis and reporting of qualitative data, and extensive report-writing and other communication activities. Other critical skills that have been required include detailed and strategic project management, active team participation and leadership when required, meeting or workshop facilitation, client and liaison and relationship building, and risk management across all areas of practice.  Like all HCA core staff, Debbie is a member of the Australasian Evaluation Society and a member of the Institute of Public Administration Australia.

In addition, Debbie has postgraduate qualifications in landscape architecture which she has applied in both community development activities and private commissions.  This training has honed her design-thinking capabilities, giving her a detailed understanding of the importance of context, relevant detail, process and user input to any design process.

Contact Debbie Stanford