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.
A Malaysian has made it into the top 50 from among 34,684 hopefuls around the world applying for a Down Under stint cleverly advertised in the internet as the “Best Job in the World”. Sabah-born Jackie Miao had applied for the job that promises to pay RM353,000 for six month’s “work” — to keep a video and photo blog while having fun in the islands of the Great Barrier Reef, Queensland, Australia.
PLEASE VOTE FOR MALAYSIA
The job pays 150,000 Australian dollars (about 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 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.
Taiwan is leading with most votes followed by Russia, Canada, Ireland and USA
Malaysia is at the 25 spot
The top 50 videos can be viewed online at www.islandreefjob.com.
"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.
UPDATE: 4 Apr 2009
Now we come to the news that the world has been waiting for - the announcement of the Top 16 short-listed applicants for Tourism Queensland’s Best Job in the World. As we announced yesterday, we were so impressed with the way our Top 50 have gone out there to promote themselves and the Islands of the Great Barrier Reef during the last few weeks that we found it impossible to choose just 10 short-listed candidates.
So, we decided that in order to have the best talent pool of potential Island Caretakers possible, we would increase the short list to 15 - plus our Wild Card candidate Clare Wang. Tourism Queensland is therefore both proud and excited to announce that the following potential Island Caretakers will be travelling to Hamilton Island for The Best Job in the World final selection process from May 3 to 6:
Anjaan RJ - India
Ben Henry - France
Ben Southall - UK
Cali Lewis - USA
Clare Wang - Taiwan (Wild Card)
Clarke Gayford - NZ
Erik Rolfsen - Canada
George Karellas - Ireland
Greg Reynen - Singapore
Hailey Turner - Australia
James Hill - Australia
Juweon Kim - Korea
Magali Heuberger - Netherlands
Mieko Kobayashi - Japan
Mirjam Novak - Germany
Yi Yao - China
UPDATE: 6 May 2009British man wins Australian island dream job
A bungee jumping, ostrich-riding British charity worker was named Wednesday the winner of what's been dubbed the "Best Job in the World" — a 150,000 Australian dollar ($111,000) contract to serve as the caretaker of a tropical Australian island.
Ben Southall, 34, beat out nearly 35,000 applicants from around the world for the dream assignment to swim, explore and relax on Hamilton Island in the Great Barrier Reef for six months while writing a blog to promote the area.
He was selected for the gig by officials from the tourism department of Queensland state.
Southall and 15 other finalists spent the past four days on the Queensland island for an extended interview process, which required applicants to snorkel through crystalline waters, gorge themselves at a beach-side barbecue and relax at a spa. The finalists also had to demonstrate their blogging abilities, take swimming tests and sit through in-person interviews.
In his application video, Southall expressed a love for adventure, and featured photographs of himself riding an ostrich, running a marathon, trekking through Africa and kissing a giraffe.
The job is part of a AU$1.7 million tourism campaign to publicize the charms of northeastern Queensland, and officials say it has already generated more than AU$100 million worth of publicity for the region.
Southall will live for free in an airy, three-bedroom oceanfront villa with a private pool and sweeping views of the surrounding islands.
The job begins July 1.