Candidates make their pitch for dream job in paradise

The successful applicant will have plenty of time to explore the Great Barrier Reef.
The long list for the job that has been described as "the best in the world" has been announced.

A chef, a dance instructor and a scientist are among the final 50 applicants for the six-month post of “caretaker” on Hamilton Island, part of the Great Barrier Reef off Australia The successful candidate will enjoy a salary of $100,000, free home and generous perks on the island. “Key responsibilities” will include sending weekly reports via blogs and video on what is happening on the island, as well as cleaning the pool — which comes with the free home — and feeding the fish. Queensland Tourism Minister Desley Boyle revealed Tuesday that the authority had received 34,684 applications from around the world for the position. “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 short-list to the Top 50,” Boyle said.

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“I understand it was a robust discussion but what it boiled down to was the motivation and professionalism of the applicants and their ‘fit’ with the job and Tourism Queensland.” The 50 hopefuls come from 22 countries including the U.S., the UK, Russia, Canada, France, Greece, Ireland, India, China, Japan, Korea, Indonesia, Malaysia, Taiwan and Kenya as well as Australia itself. The shortlisted 50 will now be cut down to a final 11 — 10 chosen by Tourism Queensland and an 11th by popular vote from videos submitted by the applicants. The videos show the 50 candidates employing a variety of attempts to woo their prospective employer, from wandering round a chilly city center in bikini with surfboard to making their application in the form of a street musical, complete with chorus singers. The successful applicant will also enjoy free return airfares from their nearest capital city, transport on the island, travel insurance, computer and camera gear and travel to other islands in the Great Barrier Reef. The appointment requires no academic qualifications — the “caretaker” will just need to have strong communication skills, be a good swimmer and enjoy snorkeling. The final selection process will take place on Hamilton Island in early May, with the successful applicant announced on May 6 and beginning work on July 1.