Tell us a bit about who you are and what projects you are currently involved with?
I have professionally been an actor since the age of 11 and am known for my main roles in The Saddle Club Series 3, Neighbours and Party Tricks. I am also a filmmaker and love to be involved any way I can in the creative process of the film and television industry.
What motivated you to take part in a World Challenge?
I wanted to experience a culture entirely different from my normal routine life. It was also a great way to start my life, post school.
What did you learn from the experience?
The Cambodian people taught me that happiness is not determined by the events, people or environment around you. Your response is your individual choice.
The experience also taught me that language is not a barrier between people of different cultures; even without a shared language and culture we have so much in common – the children at the project, the people we met, we worked together to explore all that is universal.
Would you recommend a World Challenge expedition to other students and why?
If you weren’t driven to explore the world before World Challenge, after, you will be raring to get out there and will know exactly how to plan and budget your own trip!
World Challenge takes you out of your comfort zone, away from your insular world at school and gives you the opportunity to explore for yourself life’s infinite possibilities.
Taking part in a World Challenge whilst at school will give you an experience that will enhance your school work and give you a solid foundation for travelling. Whenever you partake in a World Challenge, it will make you grow as a person.
What were the highlights of the challenge?
It’s odd, every time someone asks me what the highlight of my trip was, the first thing I think of is not the one that was the most fun or exciting, but the experience that was the most mentally challenging. The one that made me contemplate the fortunate life that I live in comparison to the horrors that others have experienced – the Killing Fields of Cambodia.
Do you think what you've learnt on expedition will play a part in your future career?
Most definitely. It’s incredibly important as an actor that you experience as many emotions and situations as possible, in order to express that in your work. My trip to Cambodia and Laos gave me adventures that very few actors would encounter.
What tips would you give to anyone thinking about undertaking a significant challenge?
Do it! Going outside of your comfort zone leads to the most amazing, fun and bizarre experiences you will ever have.
What is next in the pipeline for you? Any more soap appearances?
Much more traveling that's for sure, whilst hopefully getting acting gigs all over the world. I’m in a new TV series called Party Tricks which has just aired in Australia. It’s a brilliant drama about what may lie behind the front of politics.
Kaiya Jones, Victoria, Australia – Cambodia and Laos 2014