ABOUT ZEBRAS2020-08-27T07:26:52+00:00


Zebras Australia is Australia’s most holistic centre for chronic illnesses including Chronic Fatigue Syndrome | Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome | Ehlers Danlos Syndrome | Fibromyalgia & more.

Zebras Australia incorporates exercise physiology, physiotherapy, massage, pilates, yoga, podiatry and psychology all under one award-winning, inspiring roof.

 We work directly with some of Melbourne’s leading autonomic, pain and fatigue Specialists to ensure the best possible outcomes. Zebras Australia is an Upwell Health Collective Program.


As a trained physiotherapist and sufferer of chronic illness himself (Ehlers Danlos Syndrome / Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome / Chronic Fatigue Syndrome / Chronic Pain), Zebras’ founder knew there was a better way of delivering healthcare services to this community of patients in Australia. He experienced this first-hand when he engaged a range of health disciplines to treat his own chronic illnesses. Over several frustrating years, he drove around Melbourne and travelled the world to see GPs, rheumatologists, pain specialists, orthopaedic surgeons, physiotherapists and exercise experts…you name it.

It was time consuming and expensive, while none of them worked together to reach the best outcomes for their patient. He also re-told his story many times while the various health professionals gave him conflicting advice with competitive tension getting in the way of positive health outcomes. His motivation and mental health started to deteriorate, furthermore his conditions were not improving. Does this sound familiar?

He wanted to make a difference for other patients. Consequently he has gathered a world-class team and created an award winning, innovative, collaborative and inspiring health centre where patients feel like they are a part of a health community working together to achieve their health, wellness, and recovery goals.

And so Zebras Australia was born. Finally, it was time.

  • Australia’s most holistic centre for chronic illnesses

  • Evidence based treatments / latest research

  • Tailored programs derived from thorough assessments

  • Award-winning environment for healing

  • 15 years+ experience with chronic illness

  • Deep medical networks to ensure the best care

  • Long-term solutions not band-aids

  • Chronic Fatigue Syndrome / Myalgic Encephalomyelitis

  • Dysautonomia (Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome, orthostatic intolerance, syncope)

  • Chronic Pain & Fibromyalgia

  • Ehlers Danlos Syndrome & Joint Hypermobility Syndrome

  • Mast Cell Activation Syndrome (MCAS)

  • Central sensitisation

  • Post viral fatigue/syndrome


Matthew Stanlake

Founder of Zebras Australia / Complex Care Coordinator / Senior Physiotherapist


Bachelor of Physiotherapy (Honors) / Co-creator of Zebras Australia Chronic Illness Program / Co-creator of Zebras Australia Training Framework / Certificate Innovation (MIT) / APAM

As Zebras Australia Founder, Matt is responsible for the program oversight including program development, communications, referral partnerships, community engagement and monitoring the latest research and developments. Matt also consults on a limited basis.

After graduating from La Trobe University in 2005 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Physiotherapy, Matt worked for seven years as a Physiotherapist in various roles including as a Senior Musculoskeletal Physiotherapist and Practice Leader in private practice.

In 2012, Matt’s career took a turn after ill-health forced him out of his career as a Physiotherapist. Matt spent those years in business and also researching chronic pain conditions and chronic illnesses, were he soon became one of the most knowledgeable Physiotherapists in this space (CFS/ME, POTS, EDS, MCAS, Chronic pain).

For over a decade, Matt has suffered from and now overcome his own chronic conditions and has now taken what he has learned (and what has worked in his recovery) over a 13 year period to develop a program with leading chronic illness Specialists & health professionals, to ensure patients don’t suffer the same fate that he did, spending years on a broken medical merri-go-round and feeling hopeless.

It is Matt’s own experience as a patient of the Australian healthcare system that inspired him to develop a new innovative patient care model in Zebras Australia. A new approach which is helping to change the way healthcare services are being delivered in Australia for this population of patients.

Ehlers danlos syndrome

Melissa Williams

Complex Care Coordinator / Senior Physiotherapist 


Bachelor of Physiotherapy / Graduate Certificate of Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy / Diploma of Professional Pilates Instruction (Polestar) / Lead Educator (Polestar Pilates) / ‘Connect Therapy’ Series Graduate (complex conditions)

Melissa is an experienced physiotherapist with a unique approach to patient care and a raft of educational accomplishments that she has worked tirelessly on for almost a decade. Melissa has a deep passion & knowledge in chronic & complex illnesses with particular interests in Ehlers Danlos Syndrome / connective tissue disorders & Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS) / Orthostatic Intolerance (OI).

As well as a Bachelor of Physiotherapy from Curtin University and a Graduate Certificate in Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy from the leading program at La Trobe University, Melissa’s has also undergone further training in the ConnectTherapy™ and Thoracic Ring™ approaches as offered by Canadian physiotherapist, Dr. LJ Lee. This holistic approach enables Melissa to assess, diagnose, treat and manage dysfunction in multiple regions of the body.

With a Diploma in Professional Pilates Instruction from Polestar Pilates & advanced training is therapeutic yoga & meditation, Melissa is uniquely positioned to combine her ‘therapeutic neuroscience consultations’ with these additional skills to help her patients recover from complex chronic illnesses.

Melissa also has an interest in how mental illness & trauma impact her patients & their conditions, including strategies to help manage these impacts within the framework of her holistic management plans.

Matt together with his collaborative team of inspiring health professionals, are excited to help turn the lives around of many patients in Australia who are suffering with these misunderstood, complex, chronic illnesses. They know there is a bright future ahead for patients within this community.

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Hannah Drysdale 
Head Physiotherapist 

Ehlers danlos syndrome

Melissa Williams

Ehlers danlos syndrome

Luke Spinks

Ehlers danlos syndrome

Patrick O’Connell

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Hannah Dower
Exercise Physiologist  


Ashleigh Mason

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Katie Bergroth
Remedial Massage Therapist

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Michael Stizza

POTS treatment Melbourne

Catherine Mitchell
Founder / General Manager 

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Emma Thompson
Client Experience Manager 

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Monique Wasa
Client Experience Officer 

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Rachael Vermulen
Client Experience Officer