This is the full conversation between Nicky Gumbel and Heidy Quah from this year’s online Leadership Conference. Listen as Nicky talks to Heidy Quah about becoming an advocate for refugees at age 18, where her courage comes from & her advice for aspiring young difference makers.
This is the full conversation between Nicky Gumbel and Heidy Quah from this year’s online Leadership Conference. It seems as though Heidy has accomplished enough for a lifetime, but all by the age of 26. After founding Refuge for the Refugee at age 18, Heidy has been a part of impacting hundreds of thousands of refugees. Heidy also specializes in taking on highly complex human trafficking cases, as well as advising corporations on their anti-slavery and human trafficking policies. In this conversation, she sits down with Nicky to discuss her leadership journey, where her courage comes from, her advice for aspiring young difference makers & more.
Heidy grew up in a Buddhist home, and almost “accidentally” invited Jesus into her life in her teenage years (you’ll have to hear the story from her). Since then, Heidy says there was “a really strong stirring that [her] life had been marked [by God].” What followed acceptance of Jesus was exactly that – a life lived in conviction and profound obedience unto the displaced and disenfranchised. Heidy & her teams have made such an impact on the refugee population that she was even recognized by the Queen, being awarded the Queen’s Young Leaders Award in 2017. But the territory and the impact never comes without friction and pushback.
Heidy honestly shares in this interview about the anxiety she feels due to the reprisal experienced standing on the frontlines advocating for refugees. “It’s often a daily decision to wake up and say ‘I’ll be obedient despite knowing the backlash …’” Heidy shares with Nicky. With the anxiety and dangers in full view, Heidy continues to talk about how she needs to be obedient to the call God has on her life; “obedience” being the word that surfaces most often in this interview.
For leaders of all ages, Heidy serves to be an example of what a life wrung out for Christ and those close to His heart looks like. Especially if you are a young leader, we hope you enjoy this conversation, and are reminded that positive impact is possible no matter your age.
Heidy Quah is a 26-year-old human rights activist who founded Refuge For The Refugees [RFTR], a one-stop centre that looks into advocating for the rights of refugees in Malaysia. Almost a decade into working with underserved populations, Heidy specializes in taking on highly complex human trafficking cases, as well as advising corporations on their anti-slavery and human trafficking policies. Heidy is currently an Associate Professor at Taylors Lakeside University, and a supervisor to a PHD candidate in Australia Catholic University. Heidy’s work over the past decade has seen her recognized regionally and globally, winning two notable awards – The Queen’s Young Leaders Award and the South East Asia Women Of The Future Award, marking some of the best practices in the region.