Score That Dream Job!

by Julian Ryall
Ben Southall: Marketing is all about media Ben Southall on how to promote oneself

Leaving the “Best Job in the World” for a far less certain future would have many people lamenting the loss of the complementary jet ski and beach bungalow, and worrying about what’s next.

But even before he set foot on Hamilton Island as winner of the worldwide competition to be caretaker of this little speck of paradise on Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, Briton Ben Southall already had a future plan.

“Yes, I was sad to leave the house, the island and to say goodbye to all the really good friends that we had made on the island, at the running club and the sailing club, but I had always said it was going to be an experience, an adventure and I was planning the next thing before I had even started this one,” Southall told WIFM.

Southall’s world tour took in Japan last February The 34-year-old, from Petersfield in Hampshire, fought off more than 35,000 other applicants for “The Best Job in The World,” a marketing campaign devised by Tourism Queensland that became a global event and far outstripped the organiser’s wildest dreams.

Southall had previously rebuilt a Land Rover and driven solo around Africa for a year raising money for charity — climbing the five highest mountains on the continent and running in five marathons — so he was physically and mentally prepared when the judges whittled the number of finalists down to 15.

In what became a weeding-out process that was closely watched around the world, the finalists were required to go snorkelling in the crystal-clear waters around Hamilton Island, enjoy beach barbecues and a spa — before blogging about their experiences to promote Queensland as a tourist destination.

“Now that I look at it, the initial application video was really the toughest part of the selection process,” he said on a recent trip to Tokyo. “To get yourself noticed out of 34,684 other applicants would take something pretty special. Getting into the final 50 was the hard bit, but once I was there I knew I could let them find out about the real Ben Southall.

“My video really covered the last 10 years of my life in a nutshell: The crazy things I’ve done, the charity work, the hard work and the event management planning,” he said. “The most important part would be running the website and as I’d done it with my expedition the year before, I was more than equipped to do it for Tourism Queensland.” Based on the video, the shortlist for British finalists was whittled down to three people. Each had to get as much publicity to demonstrate that they could do the same for Queensland.

“I staged a stunt

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Winter 2009

by Thomas Bourneville

In this issue…

One Part Spirit, A Twist Of Science

Venture Samurai

A Day At The Onsen

The Macrobiotic Movement

Museums Most ODD 1