Psych Matters

"Sheroes" in Psychiatry - Prof Kay Wilhelm

March 22, 2024 RANZCP
Psych Matters
"Sheroes" in Psychiatry - Prof Kay Wilhelm
Show Notes

"Sheroes in Psychiatry" is an initiative of the Women in Psychiatry (WIP group). Sairee Chahal coined SHEROES in 1999 to denote "woman entrepreneur." WIP group selected the term "Sheroes" as a fitting term for every FRANZCP woman psychiatrist. By doing this podcast series, WIP aims to support and celebrate the work of Women psychiatrists. Their mission is to share the unique stories of this extraordinary group of women with the audience. The podcast plans to focus on who they are, where they come from, and where they are heading.

Professor Kay Wilhelm is Professor of Psychiatry at University of Notre Dame Sydney, Conjoint Professor in Psychiatry and Mental Health UNSW and Consultant in Liaison Psychiatry at St Vincent’s Hospital. She was a Member of NSW Medical Council for 14 years and Chair of Doctor’s Health Program for 12 and is now part of the Hearing Member Panel for the NSW Medical Council.  She is Chair, HETI Higher Education Governing Council and member of the Central and Eastern Sydney LDH Advisory Group of Suicide Prevention and Mental Health. 

She has previously been a member of the RANZCP Examinations Board and a consultant and researcher in the Mood Disorders Unit at Prince Henry Hospital, which developed into the Black Dog Institute. Over this time, she carried out a seminal 30-year longitudinal study looking at gender differences of wellbeing (The Sydney Teachers’ Study). She has been awarded Founders’ Medal, from Australasian Society of Psychiatric Research; the RANZCP College Citation and NSW Branch’s Meritorious Service Award and is a Member of the Order of Australia. These awards were in recognition of services in depression management, suicide prevention, doctors’ health, professional education and service to the profession.

Dr Padmini Howpage, a consultant psychiatrist based in Sydney, is an author, mentor, community leader, philanthropist and chair of the Mind Connections Foundation, a registered charity. 

She has fervently worked to dismantle the stigma surrounding mental illness, now steering the Mind Connections Foundation, an ACNC-registered charity providing vital programs to the vulnerable. As the founding chair of Women's Shed - Hills Shire and a former founding chair of the Positive Vibes Foundation, Dr Howpage's influence extends beyond psychiatry. Collaborating with her husband, Daya, she initiated an annual scholar award for medical students promoting mental health awareness. 

Dr Howpage's literary contributions include "Mindful Coco" for children and "7 Magic Minutes for Today" for adults, reflecting her commitment to diverse audiences. Her philanthropy hasn't gone unnoticed, earning her the 'Woman of the West 2019' award from Western Sydney University and nominations as a Citizen of the Year finalist by the Hills Shire Council in 2020 and 2022. 

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