our story

These are the words of Theodore Woodward - an American physician, researcher and college professor - and the reason we exist.

Our journey began in 2018 on Wurundjeri Country, Melbourne, stewarded by a passionate group of healthcare workers who identified a group of humans more in need of help than ever.

when you hear hoofbeats, think of horses, not zebras... 

The zebra represents individuals living with conditions that the medical community considers rare.

Around the world, most doctors and health professionals are trained to look for the horses amongst us. But for an increasing number of people with rare conditions this is problematic.

Because of this, zebras endure lengthy, often harmful, diagnostic journeys and beyond this face significant barriers to receiving the tailored care they need. Many are left to navigate the reality of their condition alone, and over time, life as a zebra can become quite small.

In a time where it seemed as though few were willing to put their hand up, we saw the need, and so Zebras was born.
We were embraced by the zebras community in a way we could never imagine. We were inundated with enquiries and referrals and this continued well into 2020 as the global pandemic was announced. Etched in our memories as one of the most challenging times we have ever faced, being in a position of service to humanity kept us going on the darkest of days.

As our understanding expanded, we began planning for a dedicated and more accessible space for our community, which we proudly opened in mid 2021.

We have welcomed new team members who are just as passionate and aligned with our vision as we are. 
Our offering, which now includes physiotherapy, occupational therapy, exercise physiology and movement classes, continues to evolve as we reflect on our experiences and look to other disciplines and industries for alternative perspectives. We have had the opportunity to collaborate with a number of local and international organisations, including Dysautonomia International and the Ehlers-Danlos Society, several universities and not-for-profit groups.

Most importantly, we’ve delivered thousands of consultations to help people feel seen, heard and supported in their time of need.

We dream of a world where all bodies have opportunities to be informed and cared for

We support people of diverse backgrounds enduring unwanted bodily pain, fatigue and tension to understand their unique needs whilst expanding their capacity to engage in a life that is big, full and bright.

To do this, we offer a range of products, resources, outreach and healthcare services that consider the whole person, centre the body and create the conditions for self-enquiry, connection and change.

Our big, stripey, audacious goal (also known as our BSAG) is to change the landscape of Australian healthcare, as the leading organisation in whole-person care for those identifying as a zebras and being the most inclusive and sustainable workplace for care providers.

When you hear hoofbeats, we hope you’ll think Zebras.


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