Why did you choose dietetics as a career?
I chose dietetics as a career after being diagnosed with coeliac disease on top of my type 1 diabetes when I developed a great passion for understanding more about pathophysiology of disease and how nutrition helps to manage medical conditions and improve quality of life for people with these and similar conditions.
Could you tell us a little about your career path/journey?
I used to work in PR and marketing in the IT industry across Europe. Upon returning home to Australia with my new husband and child I developed coeliac disease. I saw a dietitian who gave me the impression that I was too complex to ‘really’ help and I attended a presentation soon afterwards by Dr Carmel Smart on living with both conditions via Diabetes Australia. The combination of these two events inspired me to study to become a dietitian and to focus on improving the quality of life of people with these complex conditions. As I knew this was my goal, when I finished studying I did a TAFE Cert IV certificate in small business management and set up Marchini Nutrition in the following July. We’ve been in operation for five years now and through passion and hard work are continuing to help more people across Australia with similar health concerns.
Why did you choose to start your own business?
I knew from the start that I would run my own business. Initially I looked at getting a clinical job out of university to give me some experience before starting, but those positions were not available at the time. I surrounded myself with excellent mentors, did serious amounts of CPD to enhance the knowledge I knew I was missing (which I continue to do) and realised that as I was approaching 50 years old I needed to just ‘bite the bullet’ and get on with it. So I did, and I haven’t looked back.
What are the most important things you have learned about running a successful business?
So many important things! You need to be passionate about what you want to achieve, and be prepared to put in many unpaid hours to help you get there. It’s a constant learning curve. You need to be patient and keep persevering even through times of disappointment. The last five years to me from a business perspective feel like they’ve taken forever, but now I am established with a good reputation both locally and nationally I know that my business will keep me busy and interested for at least 20 more years.
What were some of the challenges you had to overcome to achieve your career/business goals?
Probably the biggest one is that I live in ‘holiday land’ which is a low SES area and so I knew it would take me longer to have a busy practice that someone working in a city like Sydney or Melbourne. Accepting this, I set my prices at the highest level being charged in Newcastle (my nearest city), made myself known as a dietitian with special interests to all possible referrers and have networked like a machine.
What are you most excited about in the future?
I am SO excited about the future of our industry.
The fabulous research that’s being worked on to provide evidence about how diet can help with medical conditions, knowing that more and more people will improve their health with our help is very exciting.
And I’ve recently been invited to join a group of elite dietitians called Nutrition Plus as a founding member. Nutrition Plus has been set up by Melanie McGrice as a premier brand of dietitians, like the Luis Vuitton of Australian dietitians who are committed to improving the health and wellbeing of Australian women.
- Last book you read:
My Mum encourages me to read ‘easy novels’ to help me relax. I’m currently reading a Jodi Picoult called ‘Change of Heart’ which fortunately I can put down for sometimes weeks at a time and not lose the plot. It does help me to switch off.
- Favourite mobile app:
Probably ‘Castbox’ as I enjoy listening to podcasts as part of my learning journey.
- Favourite / most inspirational quote:
“Acceptance, knowledge and love. Try to be your best, and be kind to yourself and others along the way.” By Sally Marchini.
- Favourite food:
That’s a tough one! I love so many foods. I can’t choose one favourite.
For more information please visit www.marchininutrition.com.