The Best Job in the World?

27 March 2009 By Kara Murphy

If you haven’t heard of Tourism Queensland’s (TQ) clever ‘Best Job in the World’ marketing campaign by now, you’d have to have been living on a deserted island without Internet access, in which case, you a) wouldn’t be reading this article and b) probably wouldn’t be interested in the job – Island Caretaker – anyway.

In case you did lack Internet access from mid-January until today, the job – a six-month contract paying A$150,000 to live in a three-bedroom home on Hamilton Island, explore the islands of the Great Barrier Reef (GBR), and let the world know about the unique experiences available on the islands via weekly blog, photo diaries, and video updates – is for real. Applicants had to create and upload a 60-second or less video explaining why they are the best person for the job and demonstrating knowledge of the islands of the GBR.

Were you one of the 34,684 applicants? I was. Had I made the 50-strong shortlist, you could view my video application by clicking here. (Sigh.)

I’m sure the other 34,633 losers out there share in my disappointment. But hey, even the ‘Best Job in the World’ is sure to have drawbacks. For example, the lucky 11 applicants (10 selected by TQ plus one with the most Wild Card votes) who make it to the final round must attend a four-day interview in early May. Sounds like Survivor Hamilton Island to me.

Think that sounds like fun? Consider this: when, on May 6, the world knows the Island Caretaker’s identity, this person can kiss their anonymity goodbye.

If fame appeals to you, ponder the odds of having a good hair day every day for six months. The Island Caretaker will certainly need to aim that video camera towards their face occasionally to illustrate just how much fun they’re having…so much fun they may forget to comb – or even wash – their hair for two weeks. Ack!

And suppose a hurricane strikes the islands during the contract. Would this be considered a "unique experience?" Would the Island Caretaker have to stay back and report? ("Hi world. This truly sucks…")

OK, maybe that above scenario is unlikely. Perhaps the job’s drawbacks will become apparent when the successful applicant commences their contract on July 1.

But who says the TQ job is really the best in the world?

For example, to apply for your job, you probably didn’t have to turn on a fan to simulate wind blowing through your hair like Julia (who was removed from the final 50 late in the selection process) or sing (see applicant Mitchell).

Dockwalkers get to explore some of the most spectacular locations on the planet, including, for some, the islands of the GBR. Granted, you may not have quite the R&R time that TQ’s Island Caretaker will enjoy, but, at the end of six months, you don’t have to store your fins and go home.

Do you already have the best job in the world? Let us know below.