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Lifestyle Photographer

Best Jobs in the World

What an ENDING! – Best Jobs Finalists are Announced!

The big day has finally arrived! After over 2 weeks of challenges, interviews, media appearances in Sydney and in each of their respective states – the 7 winners of the Best Jobs in the world were being announced TODAY! I woke up this morning in complete awe that today was the day. Everything that all the finalists had been working towards the last couple months was on the line today. I couldn’t even begin to imagine how they were all feeling.

The last couple days in Sydney have been used to recover from the various challenges, interviews and events they all underwent in their respective states, as well as go through many more challenges, interviews and events in Sydney. It was also time to get the group together to see how they work as a team. It was really nice to finally be able to meet some of these people who I have truly idolized, and in a non creepy way stalked the last couple months. Nick Tilley describes it the best as, “a big reunion of people you have never actually met before.” It is absolutely true. These finalists have been watching each other’s Facebook, twitter, instagram and blogs seeing what they were all up to since the start of the contest. It was definitely surreal to have them all together vying for these “Best Jobs.”


Going back to the announcement which happened today – all spectators and media crew entered the Art Gallery of New South Wales in Sydney earlier than when the finalists arrived. We had the opportunity to view the boards, which displayed pictures and quotes from all the finalists’ time in Sydney and respective states. We loaded into the auditorium and waited amongst the many film crews, photographers and news reporters for the arrival of the finalists. When the finalists arrived I got instant chills. This was it!


First to be announced was Chief Funster (NSW). The winner was Andrew Smith from the USA! Congrats ANDREW!

Second to be announced was Lifestyle Photographer (VIC). The winner was Roberto Seba from Brazil! Congrats ROBERTO

Third to be announced was Outback Adventurer (NT). The winner was Allan Dixon from Ireland! Congrats ALLAN!

Fourth to be announced was Park Ranger (QLD).  The winner was Elisa Detrez from France! Congrats ELISA!

Fifth to be announced was Taste Master (WA). The winner was Rich Keam from England! Congrats RICH!

Sixth to be announced was Wildlife Caretaker (SA). The winner was Greg Snell from CANADA!!!!!! Congrats GREG!

LAST but definitely not least, was the newly added position of High Flyer (AUS) offered by Virgin Australia. The winner was Cameron Ernst from USA! Congrats Cameron the comeback kid!

The 7 winners are official!


It has been such a buildup of nerves and excitement from everyone that I think everyone is happy the announcement is complete. I know everyone is looking forward to the Wrap Party tonight to let loose a bit and enjoy our time together.

It’s been an absolute blast the last couple days and it is really starting to sink in that my time in Australia and time with “Best Jobs” is coming to an end… for now. All I have to do is enjoy the rest of my time here and live it up!

Once again, congrats to all the winner and FINALISTS for all the hard work! You should all be so proud of yourselves!

Time to party!

Sam Clarke,

Best Jobs in the World

Ready, set, finals week!

After many tweets, TV appearances, newspaper articles and overall anticipation, the time has arrived! The 18 finalists from 12 different countries have arrived in Sydney, Australia to begin the final stages of the “Best Jobs in the World” contest. With over 600,000 online applications from 196 countries worldwide, and 45,000 video submissions, the top 3 for each position have been chosen to compete against each other for one of the six “Best Jobs” titles.


The most sought-after job has been NSW’s Chief Funster (20.2 per cent), closely followed by South Australia’s Wildlife Caretaker (19.9 per cent), Queensland’s Park Ranger (17.5 per cent), Western Australia’s Taste Master (14.7 per cent), Northern Territory’s Outback Adventurer (14.3 per cent) and Victoria’s Lifestyle Photographer (13.4 per cent).

For a better understanding of the six available jobs, follow the link here.

The finalists have been making their way to Sydney over the last couple of days, with some of them arriving early to settle in, catch up with fellow Australian friends, and to check out some of Sydney’s attractions before all the craziness begins. I have been following the various contestants on their social media channels and you can feel the excitement beaming off each and every one of them as they enter the next stage of the competition. With so much energy, commitment and passion put into achieving their specific “Best Jobs,” the competition is going to be tight.

The winners of the six jobs will receive a six-month contract with Tourism Australia, which will include a $100,000 package – $50,000 salary and $50,000 to cover living expenses. It is quite evident amongst the various contestants that the money is the last thing on their minds. The passion and love for the jobs they are applying for is the prime reason for competing. The drive and want to inspire others to consider travel in Australia is a huge motivator behind the contestants’ efforts. Once Australia is on your mind, you are hooked and that is apparent amongst the finalists.

Though I am not currently in Sydney, Australia at the moment, I have been following the arrivals and first day of finals week via social media. The first day consisted of a group breakfast where all the finalists had the chance to meet each other, followed by a “meet N greet” at the Tourism Australia head office in Sydney. The “meet N greet” allowed for the finalists to meet the people who have made this entire contest possible, as well as allowed them to be showered with gifts. Not your ordinary welcome gifts I tell you; they received some really wicked stuff. From Nikon cameras, to a Nokia smart phone, Dell computer and heaps of “Best Jobs” clothes, they have all been “swagged” out for the week ahead. Not a bad gig if you ask me!


In addition to the “meet N greet” at Tourism Australia’s head office, they each underwent a media interview, and a photoshoot under the Sydney Harbour Bridge. There is no time to waste, the finalists are getting right into the Aussie lifestyle.

Throughout the day, tonnes of tweets, Instagram photos and Facebook posts have been uploaded regarding the status of the competition and it is evident it is really starting to heat up. I think the contestants are starting to feel the pressure, and they can really taste the prize. I find it interesting to think about how the finalists’ other competition is sitting either beside them or across from them at meals and meetings. As much as everyone is here to have a good time, there can only be one winner per job. Sizing up the competition is bound to happen. I wish I could have been there to see the first interaction amongst the group.

From the various finalists I have connected with recently, an anonymous reaction has been made; each finalist is extremely diverse, and the competition is going to be tough. This will definitely make for an exciting finals week!

The rest of the week in Sydney for the finalists will include various media appearances and training sessions, sight-seeing of some of Sydney’s biggest attractions (Sydney Opera House, Sydney Harbour Bridge), a visit to the Taronga Zoo, and a training session with the Australian Football Leagues (AFL) premiers, the Sydney Swans. These activities will take the finalists up to Friday June 14th, and on the following day, the finalists will fly to their respective state or territories to participate in “job-specific” challenges. You don’t want to miss this part!

Where in Australia will each contestant be during the final challenges? Check out the map below provided through Tourism Australia:


I am lucky enough to travel to South Australia this upcoming Saturday to follow the finalists vying for the Wildlife Caretaker position. Hsin Hsuan Hsieh (Taiwan); Greg Snell (Canada); Nick Tilley (USA) are all still in the running to claim this dream job. While they are in South Australia, they will be put to the test and required to create captivating video footage, talk to local media, conduct a guided wildlife tour of the Seal Bay Conservation Park and track echidnas while sharing their experiences with their social media networks. It’s going to be a busy few days for the finalists and I am looking forward to them being put to the ultimate test.

After wrapping up the finalists time in their respective states or territory, they will all join again in Sydney for a couple days before the final announcement event on June 21st when the six winners are chosen.


Only 9 days until the winners are chosen, and I’m certain it’s going to fly by. Make sure to stay tuned for updates on the “Best Jobs” finalists and contest. This is going to be the ride of their lives – what a dream come true!

Ready, set, finals week!

Sam Clarke