Opening Hours : Monday to Friday : 9am - 5pm
  Contact : (03) 9899 4004

Our Team


Audrey Lee profile pic 2021Audrey Lee

Principal Paediatric Physiotherapist

Audrey has over 20 years experience in paediatric physiotherapy within hospitals, private practice, schools and the disability sector. She graduated from The University of Melbourne and has since also been involved in clinical training and assessment of undergraduate physiotherapists. At Stepping Forward Therapy Services, she provides assessment and management of children from newborn to young adults with a orthopaedic, neurological and developmental conditions.

Audrey’s area of special interest is in developmental paediatrics and movement disorders. Her experience in sports and spinal physiotherapy contributes to her understanding of biomechanics and the management of adolescent conditions. She believes that a multifaceted approach is often the best, and works with other therapists and medical practitioners to help children achieve meaningful outcomes.  This includes equipment and orthotic prescription for children with special needs.

Audrey attends the Stepping Forward Clinics in Surrey Hills, and also provides services in the community for complex needs.

Audrey is a member of the Australian Physiotherapy Association, the National Paediatric Group and the National Disability Awareness Group. She has 3 children of her own, and loves being active. She appreciates that physiotherapy programs needs to be flexible to be effective; and they need to be fun in order to motivate change.


Melanie Gibbs profile pic 2021Melanie Gibbs

Senior Paediatric Physiotherapist

Melanie has worked in paediatric physiotherapy for over 20 years in both Australia and Great Britain. She has held senior roles in a variety of settings including the Royal Children’s Hospital, schools and other community settings.

Melanie has special interests in developmental and neurological paediatrics and equipment provision for clients with complex needs.

Melanie provides assessment and management of children from birth to young adults at both Stepping Forward Clinic in Surrey Hills and community visits for clients with complex needs. Melanie also heads our aquatic physiotherapy (previously known as hydrotherapy) services that are based in Box Hill.

Melanie believes that a holistic, patient centred approach is important and works with families to achieve agreed goals. She is excited to bring her knowledge, expertise and enthusiasm over to Stepping Forward Therapy Services. Melanie is a member of the Australian Physiotherapy Association and the National Paediatric Group.

Melanie has 2 young children of her own and understands the need for therapy programs to be fun, versatile and relevant.

Charlotte Nicholls profile pic 2021Charlotte Nicholls

Paediatric Physiotherapist
Charlotte brings care and knowledge to her assessment and treatment sessions to facilitate engagement and participation from babies and children of all ages.  She has over  years of experience working with children of all ages and varying abilities before becoming a physiotherapist. She graduated from Monash University with honours, and has since completed numerous paediatric professional development courses, seminars and conferences, and is dedicated to building firm professional ties with the Royal Children’s Hospital.

Charlotte encourages families to collaboratively set goals with their child, therapists and medical team; and uses functional multifaceted assessments to create a treatment plan that targets these goals.
Charlotte demonstrates that successes in paediatric physiotherapy need fun and variety to maintain a child’s interest and achieve desired patient outcomes. Her cheerful and compassionate demeanour often wins over children that are shy, and the enthusiasm and energy she brings to her sessions encourages children to strive and meet set challenges.
Charlotte is a member of the Australian Physiotherapy Association and the National Paediatric Group.
Outside of work Charlotte enjoys reading lots of books, karate, and singing in a choir.

Adrienne Joe profile pic 2021Adrienne Joe

Paediatric Physiotherapist

Adrienne graduated from La Trobe University with a Bachelor of Applied Science and Masters in Physiotherapy. Her interest in paediatric physiotherapy first developed through her role as a disability support worker and has since grown into a passion throughout her tertiary studies and work experience. During her studies, Adrienne completed clinical placements at the Royal Childrens Hospital and Alfred Hospital. Adrienne has worked within the disability sector in multiple settings for the past five years. She is well versed in provision of therapy under the NDIS framework, including Assessments, Assistive Technology, and Capacity Building.

Adrienne enjoys working closely with children of all ages and their families, to develop her clients’ skills, abilities and make meaningful differences in their everyday lives. Adrienne brings a professional, yet flexible and fun approach to her sessions at Stepping Forward in Surrey Hills, and will be sure to make each session effective and engaging.

Adrienne is a member of the Australian Physiotherapy Association, Neurology and Paediatric national groups. Outside of the clinic you’ll find Adrienne keeping active in the boxing ring, teaching reformer Pilates or baking up a storm!


Kara Nolan profile pic 2021Kara Nolan

Paediatric Physiotherapist
Kara is an experienced paediatric physiotherapist who has done extensive work within private practise and the disability sector. She holds a bachelor of Behavioural Neuroscience and a Masters in Physiotherapy. Kara has worked extensively within the Special Development School setting and in sports and spinal physiotherapy settings. She works closely with children post operatively (orthopaedics) and with children returning to sport post injury.
She approaches her treatment sessions with passion and enthusiasm to assist children with gross motor delay, toddlers with delayed motor skills,  children with neurological conditions and complex disabilities. She is experienced in wheelchair and assistive technology prescription and the NDIS framework. Kara also enjoys working with young athletes, and has worked closely with cheerleading, dance and football clubs.
Her personal experience in state level sport and recreational activities complements her sessions, and Kara’s natural enthusiasm and ‘can-do’ attitude is infectious with children of all ages.

Tammy Patgaonka

Paediatric Physiotherapist
Tanmayi Patgaonkar (Tammy) has over 9 years of experience as a Paediatric Physiotherapist in Australia and USA. She received her Masters in Physiotherapy (certification in Paediatrics) from the University of Indianapolis, USA, and certification in Sensory Integration from University of South California, USA. She worked in metropolitan Chicago as a paediatric physiotherapist/early intervention specialist for a couple of years before moving to Melbourne.
Tammy provides assessment and  management plans for children with a variety of developmental, neurological, post-surgical and disability related conditions. Tammy believes in a holistic approach to the problem, and working towards meaningful functional goals for the child and the family.  She believes in play-based therapy that engages children and keeps them moving towards their goals. This assists the child to integrate exercises in daily activity. Tammy also does equipment prescriptions like seating systems, complex wheelchairs, etc.
Tammy has published an outcome measure review at the Shirley Ryan Ability Lab. Tammy is also a council member of the APA paediatric national group. She can effectively communicate in three different languages.
Apart from her professional commitments, Tammy loves to read, dance and hike/trek in the mountains (She has successfully been to Mount Everest base camp 5364mt above sea level in 2019).

Tammy is a member of the Australian Physiotherapy Association and is on the committee for the National Paediatric Group.

AlyssaAlyssa Yong

Paediatric Physiotherapist

Alyssa is an enthusiastic and experienced paediatric physiotherapist. She enjoys seeing babies and children of all ages. She has special interest with young babies infants and conditions such as plagiocephaly, torticolllis and hip dysplasia. Alyssa runs our early development groups for babies who are pre-crawlers (Turtles Group) and babies who are pre-walkers (Little Cubs Group), providing opportunities for babies to develop gross motor skills, play and cognitive skills and early communication skills.

Alyssa’s strength in education and communication is important in getting meaningful outcomes and she enjoys being part of the developmental journey of the babies that come through our clinic.

Alyssa is a member of the Australian Physiotherapy Association.  

Alyssa balances parenting an energetic toddler with her time at Stepping Forward Therapy Services, and brings an experienced and practical approach to her assessments and treatments. Alyssa is able to speak in English and Mandarin. Alyssa is currently on maternity leave, and will return in 2022. 

Alyssa 是位充满热情和经验的物理治疗师。她专门看广泛的儿童疾病包括:斜头畸形(头部扁平),斜颈(歪脖子),发育延迟等等。Alyssa 的特别兴趣在于儿童组的运动损伤。为了满足她儿童患者的不同需要,Alyssa 注重教育,沟通,和定制个人计划来获得有意义的结果。Alyssa 可以用英语和汉语/普通话来沟通。


Demi KallianisDemi Charalambous (nee Kallianis)

Paediatric Physiotherapist

Demi is an experienced paediatric physiotherapist. Since graduating from The LaTrobe University, Demi has worked extensively within the Special Development School setting, paediatric private practice and at the Alfred Hospital. She is experienced in working with infants with plagiocephaly and gross motor delay, toddlers with delayed motor skills,  children with neurological conditions and complex disabilities and has extensive experience in wheelchair and equipment prescription.

 Demi’s special interests include working with children with developmental delay, neurodisability, adolescents with sporting injuries, and assessing and correcting biomechanical factors.

Demi enjoys working collaboratively with children & their families to implement treatment plans that are fun and engaging. She is firm believer of working out the root cause of sporting injuries, and working collaboratively with families to improve function and reduce pain. Demi provides assessment and management of children from birth to young adults, at Stepping Forward Therapy Services in Surrey Hills, and services in the community. 

Demi is a member of the Australian Physiotherapy Association and the National Paediatric Group.

Demi has played competitive soccer in the Victorian Women’s Premier League, and continues to be an avid fan of all things sport. She has a gentle and practical approach and is also fluent in Greek.

Demi is currently on maternity leave, and we anticipate her return in 2022.


Looking to join our team?

Stepping Forward Therapy Services is always looking to grow our team in this specialised field. Interested in working with us? Call our clinic on 9899 4004, and find out what opportunities are available.



At Stepping Forward Therapy Services, we have a great administrative team!  Megan Smith, our Practice Manager, manages our funded programs. This includes NDIS funded physiotherapy, and facilitates the setting up of Service Agreements, and assisting families in accessing their plan.

Susi and Valencia are the friendly faces at reception, who can help organise your appointments and make your visit to us easy and enjoyable.

We also have Jack and Jill, our training dolls and Facebook page contributors – in charge of shenanigans.


9899 4004