“Last night was unreal, a pretty life changing moment when I found out I’d won the game!” Hayley cheerfully told WHO over the phone.
“I’m in Sydney lockdown, so it was just me and my fiancée Jimmy on the couch, and I was video-calling into family and friends that were spread across Australia,” she explained.
Prior to the airing of the finale, Hayley was able to share her win in real-time with her fiancée, Jimmy, and her best friend, Kate, who went in during the final episode to support her through the last immunity challenge and her time chatting to the jury.
WATCH Australian Survivor Brains V Brawn: Meet Hayley. Story continues below.
“Just to have someone you know loves you, and knows you, and just have them there … it’s such a relief,” Hayley divulged.
“It gives you confidence to have your loved ones there, and you just know that they’re proud, and it doesn’t matter if you don’t get to the end, they’ll be happy – but it gives you the power to get to the end.”
Hayley took to the final immunity challenge like a zen-master, even though it resembled a torture chamber when the castaways first saw it.
Forced to stand on wooden pegs, and hold onto wooden pegs above their heads, the final three had to endure an ever-closing space as they waited for their competitors to drop. George went out first, followed by Flick not long after in an emotional moment, which saw Hayley run up to give her competitor a big hug.
“She’s such a champion, she went through something no one else could imagine, and she kept fighting every day, she’s super inspiring,” Hayley said, referring to Flick’s loss of her mother, which occurred on day 34 of filming.
“Really, I was trying to beat Flick, because I think George would have taken me to the end, but I didn’t want to stand next to Flick at the end,” Hayley revealed.
However, there was no love lost between the pair, with Flick casting her final vote for Hayley.
The vote in Hayley’s favour seemed to come down to her honesty as she and George made her final pitches to the jury.
“I did study the jury before I went into Survivor, I watched previous jury episodes to see what does and doesn’t work,” she explained. Hayley quite famously put a lot of work and study into her preparation for going on the show, including creating spreadsheets about the performance of previous players.
“My strategy going in was that I wanted to be completely honest and own everything, so own when I did well, but also own my flaws in the game, because I don’t think you have to play a perfect game,” she reflected.
“I think humility is really important at that stage.”
The pitch paid off, and today, Hayley is $500,000 richer.
“I’m probably going to be looking at trying to buy a place to live,” the Bondi local admitted.
“I’ve been renting for a long time, and I’m pretty keen to kind of get that house, that dream of having your family, and then get started on making a little tribe of my own,” she laughed.
As for her time in the Outback, Hayley admitted to feeling nostalgic already.
“I miss our little hme we made in the Outback … it’s kind of a place I’ll never really visit again,” she said thoughtfully.
“But it makes me really grateful for the things we have in our life – we don’t even need luxuries. If you’ve got a bed, a shower, and some food, you’re doing pretty well!
“All that time away from a mirror was really nice,” she said. “Not being able to see your reflection, and not caring, that was awesome.”
Being the superfan that she is, it’s easy to imagine Hayley would love to play again someday in another round of All Stars.
“If I was asked to play again, it would be really hard to say no to that. I’d just have to see where I’m up to in my life,” she explained.
And as for who she’d love to play with, Hayley is keen for a round with the previous All Stars winner, David Genat.
“He is the ultimate Survivor player, and I wonder if we would try to work together, or we would try to target each other – I don’t know! So, I think that would be really fun,” she laughed.