Marcella Romero had a challenging childhood, after migrating to Australia from Chile at age nine. But she’s come a long way since then, having built up a successful business on the dream of helping vulnerable people.

Her achievements have been recognised nationally – she was a finalist for The CEO Magazine’s Health Executive of the Year Award in 2017.

“My philosophy is to support people to regain function and achieve their dreams after experiencing disability, illness or injury,” she says.

“Although my migrant background was challenging after my family fled Chile to resettle in Australia, I’ve used my passion for innovation and health, together with my zest for business, to build a thriving national business.”

Rehab Management helps businesses facilitate workers returning to their careers after periods of injury or disability. It’s a product of Marcella’s lifelong dream to help those in need, which she achieves with tenacity and creativity in equal measure.

“It was a work colleague, now retired, who said that extraordinary people are really only ordinary people like you and me – the only difference is that they put in that bit extra,” says Marcella.

“Extraordinary people are really only ordinary people like you and me – the only difference is that they put in that bit extra.”

“This quote resonated with me because with everything I do, regardless of whether it’s a strategic plan, customer proposal, research for a national tender or planning for my daughter’s tenth birthday party, I always put in ‘that bit extra’. I never stop until I'm satisfied that I’ve put in 100%.”

Innovation is equally an important motivator for Marcella, and in this she draws from the late Steve Jobs. Like Jobs himself, Marcella started small with a home office, and is driven by the same spirit of innovation and ambition that made the Apple co-founder an icon.

But closer to home, Marcella sees her own mother’s story as a source of inspiration. When the family moved to Australia, Marcella’s mother tirelessly worked long hours in factory jobs to support the Romero family.

The dedication and perseverance Olga Romero displayed has stuck with Marcella all her life, and has been arguably even more influential than Steve Jobs in making her the leader she is today.

“Success doesn't always come easy,” Marcella says. “For me, it comes from hard work, persistence, late nights, perseverance, sacrifices, rejection, discipline, failure and taking educated risks.”

Event Details

Wednesday 21 November 2018

ICC Sydney

Marcella is on the judging panel of The CEO Magazine’s 2018 Executive of the Year Awards. For more information on the event and the criteria to apply, visit