Inez de Vega is the founder of A Happy Heart. She has over 30 years experience undertaking her own profound psychological change and more than 14 years experience facilitating healing and creative groups in the welfare and private sector.

After experiencing a difficult childhood, Inez embarked upon her own remarkable odyssey of transformation from being wounded and severely depressed as a young adult to experiencing the psychological and spiritual wellbeing she enjoys today as she enters her 50s.  A Happy Heart was conceived by Inez as a way to share her three passions: meditation, creativity and the cultivation of self-compassion. Each of these three practices were pivotal in Inez’s own journey of healing, leading to insight and a happiness that in her childhood she never dreamed was possible.

Inez gained her professional experience working creatively with groups at the Prahran Mission: running art, writing and meditation groups there for people with mental illness, young people and the homeless. Prior to that, she facilitated a support group with ASCA (now called the Blue Knot Foundation) for almost a decade creating a safe space for sharing, healing and self-reflection for survivors of childhood trauma.

Having practised mindfulness and loving-kindness meditation herself since 2004, Inez incorporates these meditation techniques into her workshops and groups. Inez is an experienced meditation teacher who places special emphasis on teaching techniques to cultivate self-compassion while on the journey to wellbeing. As our capacity to come into the moment with a kind heart increases, we become more resilient, we feel less fearful of life and more energised to live from the depth and breadth of all that we are.

Inez is an award-winning artist and holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts (Honours) from the Faculty of the Victorian College of the Arts, University of Melbourne. Her art practice is multi-faceted: she uses a variety of methods such as storytelling, song, photography, video, painting and performance to investigate art's relationship with emotion and healing. To advance her interest in emotional growth, psychological wellbeing and helping others lead an authentic, expressive life, Inez is currently undertaking a Masters of Counselling at Victoria University.

Inez has exhibited her art widely in Australia and overseas, including at the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts, Art Gallery of Ballarat, the Ararat Regional Art Gallery and the historic mansion of the Alliance Francaise de Melbourne. Internationally, her work has been shown in Paris, Berlin, Milan, Chicago and China. She has received several grants and awards, including the Moya Dyring Scholarship from the Art Gallery of NSW permitting her to live and work in their studio in Paris; and the Georges Mora Fellowship in partnership with the State Library of Victoria.

Inez has an up-to-date Working With Children check.