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.

Gail – 1step1life Management Team



Whilst travelling through Cambodia, Gail met Jake and was impressed by his passion and enthusiasm to assist in the education of young children and adults. The following year, Gail joined One Step on a tour of Cambodia where she saw first-hand the wonderful work that the One Step team was doing. As a retired primary school teacher with approximately 40 years experience, Gail understands the importance of education and the opportunities it can create. “Through this fantastic, family-based charity, primary school children in a small village in Siem Reap and young adults are being given the opportunity to learn English and go to university”.





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.


Colleen – 1step1life Management Team



Colleen is currently retired after a 40-year career in primary education. She mainly taught in the western suburbs of Sydney and more recently implemented a national financial literacy program for students Kindergarten to Year 12 and managed school libraries in primary and secondary schools.

She became involved in One Step after a visit to Cambodia in 2016, where she met Jake and was inspired by the educational support he and his small team were providing for Cambodian students. Colleen was impressed by the commitment One Step One Life has in delivering quality educational opportunities for students that will support a brighter future for not only themselves but for their families. Colleen revisited Cambodia in 2017 and was privileged to meet the One Step scholarship students  and the delightful children attending the village school.

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.