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Top 50 shortlisted for 'best job in world'
Updated: 2009-03-04 10:53

SYDNEY  -- A shortlist of 50 candidates from 22 countries has been selected for "the best job in the world" -- being well paid to spend six months on a tropical Australian island, organisers said Tuesday.

Map locating Hamilton Island in Queensland, Australia. [Agencies] 
Ranging from dancers to scientists, chefs and students, the candidates are from countries and regions including the United States, Britain, Russia, India, China, Japan, South Korea, Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, Kenya and Taiwan.

They were selected from a total of 34,684 applicants from some 200 countries hoping to become "caretaker" of Hamilton Island on the Great Barrier Reef in a tourism promotion run by the Queensland state government.

The job pays 150,000 Australian dollars (US$100,000) for six months and includes free airfares from the successful candidate's home country to the island of white sands and clear waters.

In return, the winner will be expected to have as much fun as possible -- soaking up the sun, swimming, snorkeling, sailing -- and report to a global audience via weekly blogs, photo diaries and video updates.

Candidates had to submit a video application in English of up to one minute explaining why they are uniquely qualified for the post.

"Yesterday, a team of Tourism Queensland marketing and international staff along with a professional recruitment company made the very tough decisions necessary to cut the shortlist to the Top 50," said state Tourism Minister Desley Boyle.

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The top 50 videos can be viewed online at

"There's everything from action and adventure, comedy, animation and a choreographed musical number that just stays with you," Boyle said.

The Top 50 will be narrowed down to a final 11, 10 of whom will be chosen by Tourism Queensland with an 11th 'wild card' applicant chosen by popular vote.

They will be flown to Hamilton Island in early May to take part in the final selection process with the successful candidate announced on May 6.

The campaign is a key element in a drive to promote the northeastern Australian state's 18-billion-dollar-a-year tourism industry during the tough global economic climate.

"It's captured the imagination of the world and to date it's generated more than 70 million Australian dollars in publicity value," said Boyle.

"Apart from brilliant television, radio and newspaper coverage, the campaign has been the catalyst for special online discussion groups, bulletin boards, blogs and websites."