Three in Japan chosen as semifinalists for Hamilton Island caretaker job

By Taro Fujimoto

Three lucky candidates in Japan are among the 50 semifinalists for the so-called greatest job in the world -- Island Caretaker on Australia's Hamilton Island. They are now awaiting the final nomination of 11 finalists, including one wild-card nominee through public voting, which will be announced on April 2.

“Position: Island caretaker. Duties: Lazing around Australia’s Great Barrier Reef for six months. Salary: A$150,000 (U.S. $100,000) “ -- Australian tourism officials last month announced that they are seeking one lucky person to spend six months relaxing on Hamilton Island, part of the country’s Whitsunday Islands, while promoting the destination on a blog. Some 34,684 prospective applicants in 22 countries have clicked onto the website advertising the sweet gig.

The three lucky candidates in Japan are Mieko Kobayashi, Sam Miyano Pitt, and Karyna Wallace. Kobayashi, a 30-year-old Tokyo native, is currently working as a receptionist at a computer company in Tokyo. She has three years' experience in sports reporting for a news program on the TBS network. “I got very excited when I received an email telling me that I had been chosen as one of 50 semifinalists because I thought I had failed in the screening,” she says.

Kobayashi, who has been to Hamilton Island, adds, “People in Japan are living a very stressful life everyday. My message in my official promotional video is that 'We, Japanese, should experience a place like a heaven – Hamilton Island – before we die.'”

Pitt, a 30-year-old British-Japanese, is currently working for Shizuoka's tourism bureau. His hobby is taking underwater photographs and he enjoys marine sports. He worked for a marine theme park in Vietnam. He says he applied for the position because his colleagues and girlfriend told him it would be just right for him. His nomination as a semifinalist is, however, still a secret to his colleagues, he says.

Pitt says, “I would like to promote the Great Barrier Reef and Hamilton Island as well as raise awareness of the environmental issues in the area. I also want to make a financial contribution to Queensland (through my promotional campaign).”

Wallace, a 36-year-old Canadian, has been living in Japan for eight years and currently works as a freelance fashion and interior designer. She says she applied for the position because the organizer requested candidates' promotional movies be “creative and memorable.”

“This is a great opportunity for my personal development and happiness. I'm trying to promote myself in the most creative way. I was very happy that my video was recognized (for the first screening process),” Wallace says.

The 11 finalists will be announced by the tourism board on April 2. From May 3 to 6, the finalists will demonstrate their eligibility for the position through outdoor activities and interviews on Hamilton Island. The winner will be announced on the last day.

© Japan Today

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that's kewl

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very cool... goodluck.

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"Kobayashi, who has been to Hamilton Island, adds, “People in Japan are living a very stressful life everyday. My message in my official promotional video is that ‘We, Japanese, should experience a place like a heaven – Hamilton Island – before we die.’”

The promotional videos were requested to be "creative and memorable," but Kobayashi's position unsurprisingly takes refuge in the "We Japanese" concept. Rock on, Mieko.

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Outstanding PR. For $100,000, tourism officials gets about four news cycles. One for the initial story, now a contest, later the contest winner announced, and six months after that a follow up announcement. They can then repeat the cycle.

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Well... I will make quite sure I mark the cycle in my diary. Wouldn't mind being the lucky blighter who gets to park off in paradise for half a year, singing it's praise and investigating it's issues.... and writing about it.

Where the bloody hell are you? Hamilton Island, mate!

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If you win do you "comfort" visits?

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I would love this job.

What's the betting the eventual winner is a young lady who fills a bikini well?

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should get this job without considering others, the only peaceful and kindly society, have "V" sign on every photo, work hard doing nothing during 8h in the office, have the longest holiday in May, love foreigners who speak good about us, we do care what people think about our country, discipline our kids very well, take care of our families, never commit crimes, behave very good in public.....

Moderator: There is no need to turn this thread into a Japan-bashing rant.

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