Our team

Meet Our Team of Dedicated Professionals, Passionate About Helping Girls Shine.

Free To Shine’s highly skilled and driven Cambodia and Australia based team are dedicated to keeping girls safe and empowered through education. We strive for a gender balance within our team and model gender equity both in the office and in the field.

We know that investing in our team’s growth and skill development is key to ensuring we are maintaining high standards and following best practice in our work. We support the ongoing professional development of our team by subsidising tuition for degrees relevant to our work and through partner trainings. Scroll down to meet the team and see the amazing people who make our work happen!

Nicky Mih

Managing Director & Co-founder, Board Member

As an educator, coach, and adventurer, Nicky Mih is passionate about inspiring people to learn, achieve, and make a difference in the world. In 2009 Nicky spent a month volunteering with more than 200 girls rescued from sex slavery in Cambodia, an experience which profoundly challenged her and led to the creation of Free To Shine.

Kylie Anderson

Director & Co-founder, Board Member

Kylie Anderson is a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants Australia & New Zealand and is the Director of RJS Accounting Services Pty Ltd. She has extensive experience in the growth and development of business services, auditing, and tax compliance. Passionate about life and her work, with a lifelong commitment to helping children strive through adversity, in 2010 when the opportunity came to join Nicky in founding Free To Shine Kylie jumped at the chance to take an active role.

Sharon Allen

Board Member and Administrative Assistant to the MD

Sharon is a long-term supporter of Free To Shine, who joined our team because she loves what we do and what we stand for! Sharon previously worked in federal and state government agencies for over 30 years, mainly in welfare programs supporting marginalised communities. Continuing her commitment to helping others and making a meaningful impact, she now uses her administration and management skills, to support Nicky and the team in our mission to prevent the trafficking of girls.

Sherl Westlund

Board Member

Sherl is an independent not-for-profit and philanthropy advisor who has over 30 year’s experience leading and building not-for-profit organisations. Sherl is an experienced CEO, Board Member, Coach and Mentor.

Sherl is known for being a ‘big picture’ visionary who looks through the lens of possibility and is driven to create meaningful change locally, nationally, and internationally. Sherl believes not-for-profits and those who give can deliver change by supporting, enabling, and empowering communities to develop and create their own solutions.


Program Officer

Sophanit was born and raised in Siem Reap and she earned her MBA from Build Bright University 2009. She has a number of years of experiences working with NGOs in the areas of education and community development. She is a big believer in the power of education as a tool to fight against poverty. Sophanit loves working with students, their families, and community and making change happen at the grassroots level. She is excited to be part of the Free to Shine as she believes deeply in the power of young girls to realise their dreams and reach their full potential.


Communications & Fundraising Officer

Sotheareak was born in Thong Khmom Province and attended high school in Kranh District. After high school, he was selected as a scholarship recipient by PEPY, a Cambodia-based education and youth-leadership NPO. He was then selected by PEPY for their exchange program, and spent three weeks in Dublin, Ireland. This inspired him to pursue a degree in International Relations, which he currently studies at Pannasastra University. Sotheareak values education and its power to change lives and believes that access to education is the answer to many problems. He is excited to be a part of an organisation that focuses on education and his biggest inspiration is to see girls getting higher education and staying safe from trafficking. He believes that girls are powerful. They make a difference in their families, communities, and country.


Social Worker

Kongkea grew up in Siem Reap province, later moving away to complete a degree in Psychology from the Royal University of Phnom Penh and begin her career. Whilst at university, she volunteered with the Khmer Youth Association on a drug prevention program, following that with a position as a social worker and counselor at Garden of Hope Cambodia where she worked with underage survivors of sexual abuse and trafficking. Kongkea’s strength and professionalism are an asset to Free To Shine and she says that “because of my experience working with people in the community, especially in the rural areas, I want to see young girls receive an education so they can protect themselves from traffickers. Education is so important, it teaches them to think critically so they can have a better life in the future. I want to see all people in Cambodia understand the importance of education, and understand how it can protect their children from bad situations.”


Social Worker

Bona has recently graduated from university with a degree in Teaching English as a Foreign Language. He chose this degree because his father once told him, “When you study this subject, it will help you in the future because our country will not stay still and we won’t use only one language; so choose to speak two”. Bona dreams of one day becoming an English teacher, “I’ve seen when I visit some villages, most of the rural students are still poor at foreign languages, especially English. Therefore, I want to help them to get the same knowledge that I have experienced. Moreover, it’s very easy for girls to get cheated by bad people if they are not educated. Through learning from books or teachers, they will know how to protect themselves from someone who wants to do bad things to them. I want my country to be more developed than now. Mostly, I want to see all of the girls in Cambodia get an education, in both rural and urban areas.”


Social Worker

Daron comes to Free To Shine with a degree in Community Development. After finishing his degree, he spent ten months studying advanced agriculture at the International Center for Agriculture Training in Israel. This is Daron’s first experience working for an NGO, but he is determined to try his best. Daron says. “Girls will never be happy if they have to depend on a man for everything. I know that girls have the ability to lead their own lives and have potential to achieve all their goals. Cambodia needs more educated people to develop, including girls. We must all try to be good citizens of the world, good students, good children and good role models for one another.”


Education Officer

Chanda grew up thirty minutes outside of Siem Reap. In 2015 she graduated from high school and began studying law at university. She believes “it is important that people in Cambodia know and understand how laws should be used.” Soon after, she began working at Free To Shine as an Education Officer. In her words, "I wanted to work at FTS is because I want to help poor children gain knowledge and escape from various abuses." This year Chanda was proud to graduate with her bachelor degree and looks forward to using her knowledge in her role at Free To Shine. Chanda says, “I am really pleased to work at Free To Shine because I can provide girls with care and safety by visiting them every month. I can learn about the problems they face and I am happy to be involved to help them calmly solve their problems."


Education Officer

Vantine is from Puk District and the second Free To Shine beneficiary to transition into being a Free To Shine team member! She graduated high school in 2016 and went on to study law at the University of South East Asia in Siem Reap, while also volunteering with Free To Shine to help facilitate our Community Trainings. Vantine’s dream for the future is to be a lawyer so she can help others within her community. She believes that girls are strong and that providing access to education for girls is very important. Girls are one of the most vulnerable groups to traffickers, so her hope is to eliminate vulnerability to trafficking for girls living in the remote villages, and for all children. She would like to see Cambodia expanding in all sectors, especially through the elimination of poverty, ending the sexual exploitation of children, and ensuring gender equality.


Education Officer

Cheat is from Pouk District and is a beneficiary of Free To Shine. She graduated from high school in 2018 and was selected by Free To Shine for a scholarship to study bachelor degree at South East Asia University in Siem Reap. Cheat chose to study management because her dream is to become a manager and a good leader in the future. Cheat has a passion in helping others. "I joined Free To Shine because I want to take this opportunity to use my skills and knowledge to contribute to the community. I want to help people who are living in extreme poverty, and I believe that girls are powerful. Girls are vulnerable to trafficking, especially those living in rural areas. So, if we want to develop Cambodia, we have to end poverty and human trafficking and to empower children, especially girls to high education and gender equity.”


Intern Education Officer

Chenda, our second Intern, is from Pouk District and is a beneficiary of Free To Shine. She graduated from high school in 2019 and then received a funded University place from Free To Shine. Currently, she is studying in year three majoring in law.  “I was hoping to share my skills and knowledge about the law with my neighbours, family and community because  most of them do not understand much about the legal system. I want to work with Free To Shine  to help girls who live in rural areas. I want to see them get educated as it is very important that they can protect themselves from being trafficked. I believe education and empowerment can reduce poverty and exploitation.”