Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Best Job in the World winner

I was quite curious about who won the Best Job in the World... We've been to Hamilton Island 4 times already and we love the place so much .. and today they announced the winner....

Excerpt from Yahoo 7
Brit wins 'best job in the world'

English entrant Ben Southall has won Tourism Queensland's 'Best Job in the World' promotion.

He was chosen from the final 16 and will now receive a six-month $150,000 contract to live and work on Hamilton Island as a caretaker.

The final 16 candidates from 15 countries have spent the past four days in the Whitsundays in a final selection process, which has included snorkelling on the Great Barrier Reef, visiting the islands and blogging on their experiences.

Mr Southall says he was stunned to be selected the winner.

"Wow...ladies and gentlemen, to the Premier, to Tourism Queensland and to Anthony Hayes who have all been involved at quite a huge level with this campaign that I think has been an enormous worldwide success, to all of the candidates that stand behind me - every one there is an absolute winner," he said.

Queensland Premier Anna Bligh announced the 34-year-old had beaten more than 34,000 applicants to be offered the role of Caretaker of the Islands of the Great Barrier Reef.

"The best job in the world campaign has had people from all corners of the globe talking since its launch in January and has become arguably the most sought-after job in the world," she said.

"I have spent the past few weeks watching in amazement the lengths candidates have gone to in their quest for the 'best job in the world', from scuba diving in a tank in a square in Amsterdam, to riding the London tube in full scuba gear, to embarking on a 12-day whirlwind trip promoting the Islands of the Great Barrier Reef.

"It was a tough challenge for both the candidates and the selection panel and I am proud to announce that on July 1 Ben Southall will become Tourism Queensland's newest employee as caretaker of the Islands of the Great Barrier Reef."

Tourism Queensland spokesman Anthony Hayes said earlier this week the competition had already generated more than $110 million in international publicity.

"The answer when things are going tough is you can complain about it or you can be more creative and more aggressive and try and get more people to come," he said.

"The whole idea of this promotion is to find the perfect person to help us sell Queensland and to tell the rest of the world we really are open for business."

Ben comes from Petersfield in Hampshire, England, and for the past few years has worked as a project manager and charity fundraiser.

He has worked as a tour guide in Africa and as a charity events project manager in the UK. In his spare time, Ben manages a music festival and keeps fit running marathons and climbing.


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