Dr Padmini Howpage MBBS FRANZCP is a clinical and academic psychiatrist with a wealth of experience spanning over more than three decades. As an author, she shares her insights, knowledge, and expertise in simple, relatable and practical language through the children’s book Mindful Coco, all-ages book 7 Magic Minutes for Today and the daily journal Today I will live happily and well.

She was born in Ratnapura, a city in Sri Lanka famous for its gems, as the youngest of 7 children. The extended family, rich culture and Buddhist ideals enriched her upbringing. The challenges life offered led to her ambitions in life and her resilience in character. Since early childhood, she developed a desire to help those around her and chose to pursue a career in medicine. She graduated as a young doctor from Ruhuna University, Srilanka. After studying sports medicine and research at Simon Fraser University in Canada, she emigrated to Australia with her young family. In the regional town of Warrnambool, Victoria, she commenced her profession at Brierly Psychiatric hospital. She gained her qualifications to practice Medicine in Australia in 1993 and earned the fellowship of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists (FRANZCP) in 2003. She wears many hats as the clinical director of the Mind Connections Specialist Health Services, a staff specialist at Northern Sydney area mental health service, a conjoint lecturer at the Faculty of Medicine, Western Sydney University and as the leader of many philanthropic organisations.

Dr Howpage is passionate about community-based grassroots initiatives for social improvement. She is known as a thought leader, and her work has inspired young and old. She founded sustainable charity projects primarily focussed on mental health under the Hills Mental health Interagency and The Women’s Shed Hills Shire. Since 2011 she has established the annual Pawsitive steps – Mind Doggy and Spirit festival, a family fun event applauded by the local community. In addition, setting a yearly academic price for mental health awareness for 2nd-year medical students at Western Sydney University is a highlight for her and her family.

Her latest endeavour is Mind Connections Foundation (MCF), a not-for-profit charity organisation. MCF is the umbrella organisation to all of the above, primarily addressing the stigma attached to mental illness and youth suicide. Her work has attracted significant recognition, including the Woman of the West Community Award, Western Sydney University 2019 and The Hills Shire Council’s Citizen of the Year Finalist 2020 award.

She lives in Sydney with her husband and pet dog Coco and has two loving children. She enjoys a busy life as a clinical and academic psychiatrist and is proud to be a part of her local community as a thought leader and a role model. She plans to continue her author journey, her philanthropic work and now has a new mission spreading the word about the magic of Mindfulness.

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