The 1step1life Team is made up of an incredibly diverse group of people. All connected by a common thread- the want to giveback. 


Our Team

Although a young charity, 1step1life has realised from the start that a highly skilled, talented team both here in Australia and Cambodia is important for our success. All of our management team bring to the table unique skills that compliment each other to create an exceptional team with a high level of experience in education and community development.


Pheakdey – Vice President and Cambodia Coordinator


At 29 years of age when Pheakdey started with us, he has more experience than could be imagined. Not only does he manage a local NGO café, but has vast experiences working with charities and young people in Siem Reap. Having grown up in Siem Reap City he has a fantastic knowledge of the challenges, needs and wants of the young people 1step1life aims to help. Pheakdey completed his foundation year in English and is responsible for running all Cambodian aspects of 1step1life and is also the mastermind of almost all of 1step1life’s incredible programs. Himself and Jake work closely together to ensure 1step1life maintains it’s youthful energy and effective direct methods of connecting with and helping the young people of Cambodia.


Jake – Founder of 1step1life


Jake founded 1step1life after a holiday to Cambodia in early 2014. He came back to Australia with a completely changed perspective and a changed attitude of what was important in life. Jake has always had a keen interest in charity work and community development. He completed a Bachelor of Social Science majoring in Psychology as a way of getting tertiary skills in community and social work. Jake has a unique set of skills in regards to our work in Cambodia, his young age and youthful energy enables him to engage with many of the local teenagers we aim to help. When Jake is back in Australia he also does motivational talks at local high schools which focus on “Striving to Reach Your Potential” and specialised talks on overcoming mental health problems of anxiety and depression through explaining his personal experience.  His enthusiastic and dedicated attitude of helping the people of Cambodia to gain a better future through education is his greatest strength and is appreciated by everyone both in Australia and Cambodia who engage with him. Jake has a very straightforward approach to charity work and created a model that focuses on simplicity and “getting on with job of helping those who need it most”.


Karen – Treasurer and ‘Charity Mum’


Karen comes to 1step1life with a strong passion of helping those in Cambodia mixed with extensive experience in Human Resources and community work. Karen has worked for 30 years in the public sector and has extensive skills in both administrative work and personal development programs. The past few years has seen her implement many mentorship programs, working specifically with improving confidence of women in the workforce. After her first trip to Cambodia in 2015 she has a strong drive to help those who 1step1life aim to support. She works tirelessly for 1step1life and manages much of 1step’s fundraising efforts here in Australia, especially her well known beautiful Market Stalls, selling homemade gifts to raise money for the incredible people of Cambodia. Her ability to engage with Cambodians is exceptional as Karen radiates passion, love and support and is a real asset in creating a charity that encourages a family type support network.

Elizabeth Everingham – 1step1life Management Team


Liz comes to 1step1life with over 40 years experience as a Secondary School Mathematics teacher and head teacher. She has spent most of her career working in the Western suburbs of Sydney. When asked about her dedication to teaching Liz explains “My strong commitment to teaching comes from my belief that education enables young people to reach their full potential and assists in overcoming disadvantage. I chose to support 1step1life because I recognize that Jake, the founder of 1step1life, shares this belief and is passionate about helping to provide the best possible outcomes for young people regardless of background.




Jenny – Education Coordinator


Jenny is a Secondary School languages teacher with 36 years experience teaching in Australia and abroad. Currently the Head Teacher of Languages at a highly regarded school in Canberra Jenny is our Education Coordinator developing intensive English and Teacher Training Programs.  She is very proud to be part of the One Step One Life family. She believes Jake's passion and enthusiasm is an inspiration to people of all ages and she is very committed to helping the Cambodian people one step at a time.


Jessica Kieft – 1step1life Management Team


Jessica kieft is one of the younger committee members for One Step One Life, at 25 she boasts a strong career as a production/project manager in the apparel industry and is a creative force behind ideas for the OSOL market Stall. Having traveled to Cambodia in 2012 to pursue volunteer work through Globalteer at Grace House (a school offering free education, vocational training and disability services in Siem Reap), Jessica has experienced first hand the generosity and passion of the Cambodian people despite the daily struggles they go through. During her time in Siem Reap she got to know her tuk tuk driver Raly, who was a bright kind hearted man in his early 20s who spoke to Jessica openly about his mother and father who he was supporting, his relentless working hours with minimum pay and how on top of working full time was pursing his dream of studying at university. Raly's enthusiasm for furthering his education to better himself and life situation is a true representation of what passion the Cambodian people have, and when Jake suggested Jessica join the One Step One Life team it was a position she was passionate to undertake.

It always seems impossible until its done.
— Nelson Mandela

What We've Achieved

  • Purchased the land for the school, in partnership with COSD.

  • Completed construction of a new three classroom school to provide free english education to over 100 students.

  • Employed a local Cambodian man named Pheakdey as our Vice President and Cambodia Co-ordinator

  • Delivered Teacher Training modules, working in a remote village school.

  • Rented and developed our own learning centre in the heart of Siem Reap giving our scholarship students the opportunity to learn, collaborate and share knowledge with each other.

  • Provided over 28 One Step scholarships, allowing recipients to fulfil their dreams by; attending university, studying English and Computers, training in hospitality and studying art classes,following their dreams.

  • Provided laptops and internet connections for all our scholarship students.

  • Increased our monthly sponsorships by 200% in 6 months

  • Have qualified Australian teachers registered to visit Cambodia and deliver teacher training modules.