Yik Kun Heng

Counselor and DEIB Coordinator, The International School Nido de Aguilas

Tik Kun H describes themselves as a Machiwi – a Malaysian-born New Zealander raised human, marveling at the courage of their Malaysian-Chinese parents who relocated to the unknown. Living between Eastern and Western cultures throughout their life, Tik reflects on their emotionally charged experiences in human resources and business, always drawn to understanding what motivates and influences people from a young age. This quest led them to a fulfilling career at the crossroads of counseling, Social Emotional Learning (SEL), and Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging (DEIB). Their personal journey, enriched by the diverse cultural tapestry of international schools, has become both their home and life’s work, bringing them a profound sense of aliveness.

Tik champions a self-reflective, student-centered, and patient approach to counseling, finding that their role as a father not only informs their professional practice but also enhances their parenting. They take joy in being actively present in the classroom, supporting teachers and students, and collaborating with fellow counselors to develop educational workshops for parents. Tik values the connections with therapists in the community to provide the best referrals for families and students. Their love for martial arts, embodying mindfulness, focus, and self-empowerment, seamlessly integrates into their counseling work. Drawing from their experiences living in various countries, including Beijing, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, Switzerland, Chile, and New Zealand, Tik excels in connecting across cultures and understanding individual stories.

For Tik, being present for students is a way of serving the school community. They cherish everyday interactions, such as lunchtime conversations, corridor talks, assemblies, and classroom engagements, often learning from the young minds they encounter. Tik believes in building trust with students, creating a comfortable, calming, and curious environment for them. They are passionate about learning from both students and colleagues and fostering a sense of belonging. Understanding the stigmas surrounding mental wellbeing in Asian and other societies, Tik is dedicated to educating parents, students, and faculty about the power of counseling within a school setting. As a father, husband, and counselor, Tik Kun H embodies a unique blend of personal and professional experiences, committed to making a positive impact in the lives of those they work with.

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