A
Toggle
font size

The Soaring Health
Story

The Soaring Health story isn’t really about ‘us’ – it’s about our clients. In fact, our practice began in 2012 when senior chiropractor and lifelong sports enthusiast Dr Marco Makari – who already had an esteemed reputation among elite athletes – thought there must be more he could do to help athletes at all levels to achieve their performance dreams. Enter the Soaring Health Method, which translated Dr Makari’s understanding of the physical and mental challenges of elite training, anatomy knowledge and experience optimising athlete performance into a unique formula.

From Sports to Community

Since then, the vision of helping people to realise their potential has expanded to encompass diverse services and client groups, from NDIS participants with severe disabilities to TAC claimants recovering from life-altering accidents. Led by highly-trained, human-centred physiotherapists, chiropractors, occupational therapists, psychologists and dietitians, the Soaring Health ‘Community’ division continues Soaring Health’s commitment to helping people to harness their strengths and live their best, most satisfying lives despite their limitations. 

Towards wellness

Given our emphasis on proactive wellbeing, Soaring Health’s wellness division seemed like a natural progression. After all, the proactive wellness paradigm that has made practices such as yoga and Pilates staples of healthy people’s self-care regimes perfectly reflects Soaring Health’s credo. From wholefood diets to stress-management strategies, practitioners including dietitians, psychologists and clinical Pilates physios will help you to take care of you and your family’s body, mind and soul.

What sets Soaring Health practitioners apart is that they are not merely performing treatments, but serving as partners, who empower clients to challenge their limitations. Whether you are an aspiring Olympian seeking an extra 0.2 of a second, dreaming of independence after injury or disability, or wish to resolve chronic pain and travel the world, we will meet you where you are and support you to live a rich, satisfying life as the best you can be.

The Soaring Health logo
The Soaring Health logo represents your journey towards realising what it is to feel and be your best. The adjoined triangles depict the interdependent elements that enable a person to realise their physical and mental potential. The eagle in flight depicts your power to reach new heights and to believe that you can rise above your limitations. Each time you see the logo, ask yourself, “What can I do at this moment to enrich my own life and the lives of those around me?”

Shapes and Colours
The angles in each triangle represent the three core values underpinning everything we at Soaring Health believe and do – Family, Integrity and Extraordinary service.

The colours of the triangles represent the 3 types of services we offer.

Green: Community is the centre triangle because community is at the heart and soul of what we do at Soaring Health.

Blue: The Blue wing triangles represent our sports services which elevate an athletes as wings do to an eagle.

Purple: Our purple foundational triangles are the core of the eagle, just as wellness is the core of our clients health and wellness.

Family–  You can feel the Soaring Health difference. Compassion, care and inclusiveness underpin the Soaring Health team’s approach to looking after our community.

Integrity– You can and should expect us to deliver the highest standards of professionalism, honesty, integrity, reliability and trustworthiness, confidentiality and respect. We hold ourselves accountable for maintaining these at all times. 

Extraordinary service– Each time you visit or call our centre should be a positive experience. As your partners in realising your potential, we strive to help you seamlessly manage your treatment. Like the Soaring Health eagle, we hope our efforts to provide a different allied health experience go above and beyond your expectations.

Soaring Health is available when you need us:

  • Monday-Friday: 8am-8pm
  • Saturday & Sunday: 8am-6pm
 

Dr Marco Makari

Founding Director & Senior Chiropractor

From climbing the fence of Bob Jane Stadium to watch his hero Archie Tompson play for Melbourne Victory as a child, to witnessing the growth of local athletes into Olympic Champions as a performance-focused chiropractor, Dr Marco Makari has had a lifetime fascination with elite sports. Renowned for striking the fine balance between ‘can-do’ positivity and realistic expectations, the senior chiropractor has channelled his knowledge of the relationship between mindset, movement, food and health into realising Soaring Health’s vision of empowering people to realise their own potential. Having served as a Victoria committee member in the inaugural Sports Chiropractic Australia (SCA) committee and helped athletes to reach goals including national records and Commonwealth medals, Dr Makari has earned a reputation among athletes and coaches as an elite performance ally (not that you’d know from the founding director’s smile and modest manner). For Dr Makari, being able to realise his passion every day while sharing in results at the top level – and call it ‘work’, no less – is the ultimate reward.

Nav Ahmad Khan

Senior Physiotherapist & Head of Allied Health

A Soaring Health fixture since 2017, Nav has a vast range of physiotherapy experience including hospitals, nursing homes, community health centres and private practice. This diverse foundation has equipped him with the expertise, clinical judgment and empathic bedside manner to optimally manage clients with complex needs, including rehabilitation post surgery, TAC recovery and pain management. He is equally highly knowledgeable and skilled in sports-related physiotherapy, from injury recovery and management to performance improvement through strength and conditioning training. For everyday musculoskeletal injuries and pain (think the ‘driveway ankle roll’ or ‘grocery bag back twinge’), Nav not only works to restore full movement and relieve pain as quickly as possible, he also educates clients in basic anatomy and exercises and preventative measures, to ensure that they remain injury- and pain-free long term. Often seen walking between the Soaring Health consulting suites and pool, Nav employs a range of therapeutic practices including manual therapy, soft tissue therapy, dry needling, exercise prescription and hydrotherapy in the optimal combination for each client. 

Yuho Okita

Occupational Therapist

With a physiotherapist father, Japanese-born Yuho’s passion for improving people’s quality of life may run in the family. But it was realising quite how much the support of an occupational therapist could transform people’s lives, as well as lament at how little most people know about the discipline, that inspired the Bachelor of Exercise Science alumnus to complete a Master of Occupational Therapy. Armed with a holistic view of each person and their daily activities and needs, high-level knowledge of anatomy and health conditions, intricate understanding of funding programs and a caring and curious nature, Yuho has an uncommon capacity to imagine the practical and emotional challenges faced by each client and devise creative solutions that enable people to defy their perceived limitations. Few things are more rewarding than witnessing the shift in mindset from ‘can’t’ to ‘can’ and seeing a person grow in independence and confidence, he says. A broad knowledge base of complementary disciplines such as physiotherapy and dietetics means Yuho is also able to recommend and collaborate with other Soaring Health professionals to get the best results for each client. 

Elizabeth Radicevic

Sports Dietician

Dual passions for food and health led Soaring Health dietitian Liz to study dietetics, but what really drives her is seeing the tangible differences dietary changes can make to a person’s health and wellbeing – from managing disease symptoms to sustainable weight loss. With a professional goal to “allow my patients to become the best they can be” by translating nutrition science into practical, realistic food recommendations, Liz has a refreshingly human approach. Known for her empathy and truly listening to clients’ concerns and challenges, she reconciles the academic knowledge she gained through a Bachelor of Food and Nutrition Sciences and Master of Dietetics with the needs of each client (asked whether all dietitians stop clients from eating their favourite foods, Liz answers decisively: “No!”) In fact, Liz’s approach may be best described as ‘collaborative’. A coach and cheerleader rather than a taskmaster, she strives to motivate and empower clients to take charge of their own wellness and realise how good they can feel when their bodies are optimally nourished. 

Prishni Dobee

Psychologist

An intricate understanding of human thought, emotions and behaviour is part of the reason Soaring Health psychologist Prishni is so highly regarded by clients and colleagues. But her human-centred approach, palpable empathy and genuine investment in helping clients to live more satisfying lives are what truly set this therapist apart. Skilled in applying gold-standard evidence-based talk therapy techniques, and well-versed in the underlying causes of thought and behaviour patterns from a Bachelor of Psychological Studies (Honours) and Master of Educational Psychology, Prishni primarily relies on her less-common ability to listen and reflect (scientific literature suggests that the therapeutic relationship is as, or more, important than specific techniques). Often described as ‘gentle’, she non-judgmentally helps clients to arrive at new awareness and find their own solutions – no matter what their background, starting point or challenges. This ability to empathise and build rapport with diverse personality types, ages and cultures also explains her passion for, and success, working with children with autism. 

Alyson Gatt

Remedial Massage Therapist

Ask remedial massage therapist Alyson what drives her, and her answer – “to allow my patients to live a more pain-free life and be all they can be” – conveys a rare brand of personal investment and compassion. Alyson’s experience living with chronic pain from Crohn’s disease and scoliosis lends another dimension of understanding to the academic knowledge she gained through a Diploma of Remedial Massage and extensive practice experience. As well as sharing the values and positivity that define Soaring Health – her life motto is ‘feel amazing, be amazing’ – Alyson brings an insider’s perspective on the physical and emotional challenges of high-performance sport and the importance of optimal treatment. She has trained to an impressive level in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, running and pole dancing. While ‘compassionate hands’ and ‘nurturing touch’ anchor Alyson’s treatment toolkit (she is known for her exceptional relaxation massages), Alyson also uses dry needling, cupping and trigger point work in carefully tailored combinations to promote efficient and lasting recovery.

JJ He

Allied Health Assistant (OT)

After studying kinesiology, working in the ASD program introduced JJ to the scope of occupational therapy and inspired a career change. Armed with an impressive knowledge of the latest evidence-based techniques, resources, and programs, from complex home modifications to play-based therapy, JJ prides herself on creating collaborative relationships that enable individuals to maximize their abilities and overcome their limitations. Among her most rewarding professional experiences, JJ recalls providing 12 months of home-based intervention to a non-verbal client, who could, after therapy, say simple sentences and take care of herself independently. “It is difficult to compare the sense of excitement and pride in a client’s determination and tenacity when they become able to do something they didn’t believe possible. It’s an honour to be a partner in that journey,” JJ says. A self-proclaimed ‘learning enthusiast’, JJ combines [his?] knowledge of cutting-edge research with a genuine investment in clients’ needs and goals to facilitate desired outcomes. 

Neela Kratan

Allied Health Assistant (Physiotherapy)

For Neela Kratan, the potential of physiotherapy to improve people’s level of function and participate in rich, fulfilling lives is personal. While she has had a lifelong passion for helping people, it was witnessing a friend undergoing rehabilitation that inspired the final-year physiotherapy student to follow physiotherapy as a career path. “Physiotherapy is far more complex and broad than people imagine. Musculoskeletal complaints and sporting goals are common treatment targets, but physiotherapy also covers neurological and cardiac issues.” Indeed, Neela’s professional highlights include witnessing a stroke patient who had been confined to a wheelchair walk. “Helping people to achieve things they didn’t imagine possible and witnessing such fundamental functional and life improvements is beyond rewarding,” she says. Goal-oriented and equipped with intricate knowledge of schemes including NDIS, TAC, WorkCover and My Aged Care, Neela is a key member of Soaring Health’s community division.

Bridget O’Connor

Provisional Psychologist

Natural curiosity, high-level empathy and a passion for communicating made psychology an obvious career path for provisional psychologist Bridget O’Connor. Despite an impressive toolkit of evidence-based techniques applicable to different clients’ challenges, Bridget credits self-awareness with helping her to become a better human-centred clinician. “Through study and practice with clients, I have learned so much about myself, which has enabled me to really understand another person’s inner experience and provide better support,” Bridget says. A believer in the importance of the therapeutic relationship, she is renowned for her collaborative approach. “Many people think that we can read minds and ‘treat’ clients, but it is a collaborative unfolding. We are both learning and discovering, in a safe, non-judgmental space, which enables people to practise new ways of thinking and being. It can be a really rewarding and profound process.” 

Matthew Maher

Allied Health Assistant (Psychology)

Many people associate psychology with mental health conditions, but Matthew Maher believes the discipline is far more democratic. “Everyone experiences diversity, and everyone can benefit from support to navigate the emotional challenges of difficult circumstances and live more fulfilling lives,” he says. Armed with impressive knowledge of the brain and human behaviour, gained through a Bachelor of Psychological Science (Honours), Matthew is renowned for his collaborative, client-centred approach and attention to individual differences in personality, lived experience and ethnicity. “It is a myth that the therapist ‘fixes’ the client,” Matthew says. “It is a team effort whereby we support clients to examine their own lives, identify their own values and goals and, ultimately, make their own positive changes.”   

Sandra Kirolos

Allied Health Assistant

Allied health assistant Sandra is living proof of the power of physiotherapy. Having defied doctors’ predictions that she would never walk, after intensive physiotherapy as an infant, she is dedicated to helping others to realise their physical potential. A final year physiotherapy student, she not only assists Soaring Health’s practitioners with implementing treatment plans, but also supports clients to obtain the best results throughout their programs. Known for her can-do outlook, compassion, ‘kid-friendly’ approach and encouragement to challenge limitations, Sandra names her professional highlight as working with a client who had been left unable to walk by deteriorating cerebral palsy. “Within five weeks of strength and functional training, she was able to walk 15 metres with a frame. This work really can be life-changing,” she says. 

Aneeta Benyameen

Clinic Manager & Head of CAA's

One of the ‘faces’ of Soaring Health, Aneeta is part of the reason clients feel so welcome when they visit or call our practice. With a perennial smile, love of people, extensive reception experience and detailed knowledge of our services (she’s been with us since 2017), Aneeta can help with everything from explaining the differences between physiotherapy and chiropractic, to simplifying the intricacies of Soaring Health services for TAC claimants. An active member of her community, she also speaks fluent Arabic, Turkish and Assyrian. As well as uncommon interpersonal skills that immediately put people at ease, clients often remark on Aneeta’s impressive efficiency and ability to ‘make it happen’ when they need an appointment – as well as the cafe-grade lattes she makes for clients while they wait (no wonder people often arrive early). 

Chantelle Azzopardi

Client & Administration Team

One of the ‘faces’ of Soaring Health, Chantelle is a natural fit with what we do, who we are and what we strive to achieve. As well as infectiously positive energy, an effortless interpersonal manner and impressive efficiency, she has experienced first-hand the triumphs and challenges of training for sports at an elite level and understands the scope of Soaring Health’s sports division from the inside out. As a teenager, Chantelle received an invitation to train for the Commonwealth Games (from her idol Cathy Freeman, no less) and continues to train or work out at every opportunity. Her other passion, being a mum, is evident in Chantelle’s uncommon degree of empathy and compassion, ability to explain complex terms and processes, and capacity to make clients feel reassured and understood. A dedicated client services professional with academic credentials from Victoria University, she is also known for her flair for making barista-style coffee (according to clients who make a point of coming early for a chat and latte).

Lucas Vogel

Client & Administration Team

Marina Witedja

Client & Administration Team

Manel Fedda

Client & Administration Team

Karen Habashy

Client & Administration Team

One of the first points of contact for Soaring Health clients, Karen embodies the Soaring Health difference. Her investment in helping each individual to achieve their treatment aims goes above and beyond ‘customer service’. With impressively detailed knowledge of Soaring Health’s services, as well as relevant government schemes such as NDIS, TAC and MyAgedCare, Karen makes accessing the most suitable treatment and managing appointments hassle-free.