Australian Survivor: Where Are the Winners Now?

Australian Survivor: Where Are the Winners Now?
Instagram /@lizparnov

Warning: This article references an incident of childhood sexual abuse and may cause distress for some readers.

If there’s one thing to know about us, it’s that we love “Australian Survivor”.

The tenth season has just wrapped up with Liz Parnov being crowned Sole Survivor. But we’ve been glued to the couch for years watching “Australian Survivor” really take off and find its loyal fanbase over the years.

Host Jonathan LaPaglia previously told The Latch that, to begin with, “Australian Survivor” was “a little hamstrung by the idea of mateship”, but that the show “rapidly evolved” from there.

“It’s something that’s part of the Aussie culture, but it’ll only get you so far in the game of ‘Survivor’, because the name of the game is voting everyone else out, right?” he said. “At some point, deception needs to come into the game.”

Each year, the gameplay has evolved and developed, with players like David Genat, Luke Toki and Hayley Leake pulling out all the stops at some truly chaotic tribal councils.

With the new season done and dusted, we’ve been thinking about our past winners. Where are they now?! What are they up to? Here’s everything we know.

Kristie Bennett — “Australian Survivor” Season 1

Australian Survivor: Where Are the Winners Now?
Network Ten

Since winning “Australian Survivor” at 24 back in 2016, Kristie has ventured away from her life as a senior account executive. These days, you can find her on Instagram and YouTube, where she creates content around mental health and wellness, with a focus on building resilience. She also has content that delves into the reality television audition process, where she talks about her own journey to being cast on “Australian Survivor” and offers casting tips. If that’s something you’re interested in, you can also book Kristie for a reality TV casting and audition mentoring session.

Currently, Kristie is working on a memoir, which she says will detail her “life experiences, strategies, lessons, failures, and winnings” — everything that led to her being named Sole Survivor. She says that she began writing the book in May 2022, and has written 60,000 words of the draft thus far. You can follow her journey here.

Jericho Malabonga — “Australian Survivor” Season 2

Australian Survivor: Where Are the Winners Now?
Network Ten

Flight attendant Jericho Malabonga may have won the big bucks back in 2017, but his win didn’t see him make any huge lifestyle changes. In fact, he pretty much just went back to his normal life, $500k richer.

Jericho returned to the series for “Australian Survivor: All Stars”, but copped an early boot from the tribe.

Of course, working as a flight attendant through COVID wasn’t easy, but Jericho returned to work as soon as he could, helping to bring home Aussies who were stranded overseas as a result of the border restrictions.

More recently, and with borders now open again, Jericho has spent a lot of 2022 travelling and taking a break from the daily grind. In August, he encouraged others to do the same, in whatever capacity they could.

“Right now more than ever, your soul needs a break,” he wrote. “I’m not saying go to Greece or even overseas. But take some time off away. Do a little roadtrip [sic]. Book a little weekend away, affordable to you. Just do it. Aussies Especially! Melbourne enduring 262days [sic]of lockdown curfew…you’ve done it hard.”

Shane Gould — “Australian Survivor: Champions Vs Contenders”

Australian Survivor: Where Are the Winners Now?
Network Ten

Say it with us: Don’t f**k with Shane Gould!

After winning “Australian Survivor: Champions Vs Contenders” at 62 in 2018, Shane Gould became the oldest Survivor winner, across all franchises, to date. Love that! Shane also returned to “Australian Survivor” for All Stars, but was considered a threat as a previous winner, and promptly voted out first.

While Shane doesn’t have social media, she does regular public speaking events, where she talks about “goals, motivation, personal development, retaining energy and youthfulness, taking the rough with the smooth, moving forward positively and gaining the most out life’s experiences”, per the Celebrity Speakers website.

Pia Miranda — “Australian Survivor: Champions Vs Contenders 2”

Australian Survivor: Where Are the Winners Now?
Network Ten

From the start of her “Australian Survivor: Champions Vs. Contenders 2” journey, Pia said that she’d either be the first to go, or she’d win the game. After narrowly avoiding the boot in the first tribal council, Pia did, in fact, win the game.

Since her 2019 win, Pia’s returned to acting, when she’s not busy raising her young family, that is. She’s just wrapped filming on “Heat”, an upcoming miniseries co-starring Danny Dyer, Darren McMullen, Matia Marks and Jane Allsop, which should premiere on 10 in 2023.

Pia also made a number of television appearances in 2022, joining Andy Lee on “The Hundred”, Adam Liaw on “The Cook Up”, and of course, competing as Thong on “The Masked Singer Australia”.

Pia also supports a number of causes, and is passionate about raising awareness about skin condition vitiligo, in which the skin loses its pigment cells, as well as ovarian cancer. Earlier this year, she reunited with “Australian Survivor” friend and ally (and Boost Juice CEO) Janine Allis to become an ambassador for the Australian Cancer Research Foundation (ACRF).

Finally, if all of this wasn’t enough to keep Pia busy, she’s also signed a book deal with Hachette and is currently writing her first book, although details on the project are pretty scarce at the moment.

David Genat — “Australian Survivor: All Stars”

Australian Survivor: Where Are the Winners Now?
Network Ten

When the Golden God returned to “Australian Survivor” for All Stars, he was up against some pretty stiff competition. Still, none of them came close to the mind-bending, villainous and strategic game that Dave played, and soon enough, he took the 2020 title of Sole Survivor.

Since then, David’s been booked and BUSY. Aside from returning to his modelling career, Dave appeared on “Celebrity Apprentice Australia” and has had a number of brand deals. Recently, he’s been working with Harley Davidson.

But that’s not all. Dave also launched a podcast with “Australian Survivor” fan favourite and self-appointed King of the Jungle, Luke Toki, called “Who Authorised This?”

And, he appeared in Aussie film “Pieces”, which was nominated for two AACTA Awards this year.

Hayley Leake — “Australian Survivor: Brains Vs Brawn”

Australian Survivor: Where Are the Winners Now?
Network Ten

After winning “Australian Survivor: Brains Vs. Brawn” in 2021, pain researcher and Sole Survivor Hayley Leake is returning to “Australian Survivor” for “Heroes Vs Villains”. One of the first announced cast members of the upcoming season, Hayley will be competing as a Hero.

This year, Hayley finished and submitted her PhD, which focuses on “how to optimise pain science education for adolescents with persistent pain”.

On Instagram, she wrote: “I’ve met incredible people living with pain, willing to share their stories. And extraordinary scientists, working to make things better. I hope this work, in some small way, helps improve the lives of people living with pain.”

After winning “Australian Survivor: Brains Vs Brawn”, Hayley got engaged to her partner Jimmy Meegan in October 2021, writing on Instagram at the time: “We decided two months of no contact while I was on ‘Survivor’ was enough. Now feels like a good time to celebrate!”

With the filming of “Heroes Vs Villains” done and dusted, Hayley’s now well into the process of planning her wedding, and even posted some potential wedding dress options on Instagram recently.

Mark Wales — “Australian Survivor: Blood Vs Water”

Australian Survivor: Where Are the Winners Now?
Network Ten

Our reigning winner! While competing on Season 2 of “Australian Survivor” back in 2017, Mark made an ally for life in his now-wife, Sam Gash.

In 2022, the couple returned for “Australian Survivor: Blood Vs Water”, and their unshakeable alliance proved impossible to beat, with Mark taking out the title of Sole Survivor in the end.

Since then, the former SAS–Major turned author and motivational speaker has been keeping busy. He appeared on “The Dog House” alongside Sam and their son Harry.

In October, he hosted a “Resilience Retreat” designed to “instil lifelong lessons in resilience, leadership and teamwork”.

His memoir “Survivor: Life in the SAS” was long listed for the Margaret and Colin Roderick Literary Award.

And, he shared his experience of childhood sexual abuse, in the hopes that it would encourage other victims to report their abusers.

“I share this story because I know there are plenty of people like my brother and I who thought too much time has passed and we would have no chance of holding perpetrators accountable,” he wrote in an Instagram post. “To those people: I hope our case can show you otherwise.

“I hope, like us, you can bring them to court where they are judged by their peers, and like us, you can find closure for the injustice you experienced.”

Liz Parnov — “Australian Survivor: Heroes Vs Villains”

Australian Survivor: Where Are the Winners Now?
Network 10

Liz Parnov has just been crowned the Sole Survivor for “Australian Survivor”: Heroes Vs Villains. The two-time Olympian also walked home with $500,000.

While the confetti is still falling for her win, Liz said she’s not ruling out giving the game another shot in the future.

“One hundred percent I’d do Survivor again but I think I need some downtime just to chill,” she told 10 Play.

“I feel like the trauma is still real, the PTSD is still there. Perhaps in a year or two if [they] want to give me a call I’ll definitely be up for the challenge.”

If this article brings up any issues for you or anyone you know, or if you just feel like you need to speak to someone, please contact 1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732) the National Sexual Assault, domestic and Family Violence Counselling Service.

If this article brings up any issues for you or anyone you know, please contact Braveheartsan organisation providing support to victims of child abuse. If you are concerned about the welfare of a child, you can get advice from the Child Abuse Protection Hotline (1800 688 009) or the 24-Hour Child Abuse Report Line (131 478).

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