Aussies fall short in 'best jobs in the world' contest

Tourism Australia's "best jobs in the world" competition has been whittled down to 18 finalists from 330,000 people from 196 countries, but there isn't an Australian among the final contenders.

"They did their country proud, but fell just short," a Tourism Australia spokesman said.

More than 40,000 Australians applied for the six "dream" jobs that are up for grabs.

Of the final 18, there are five from the US, two each from England and France, and one each from Belgium, Afghanistan, Brazil, Canada, Germany, Hong Kong, Ireland, Scotland and Taiwan.

They will be flown to Australia for a week of challenges and six will be picked for $100,000 six-month jobs ranging from park ranger to lifestyle photographer and outback adventurer.

The challenges include creating content for inspiring tourism videos, writing blogs of their Australian travel experiences and handling the pressure of an impromptu media conference.

There are five Americans in the final 18 but Jane Chiao, who was endorsed by US talk show host Stephen Colbert, failed to make the cut.

Chiao, who had been in the final 150, had been hoping that she may get even further in the competition with the help of the "Colbert Bump" – a running gag on The Colbert Report that refers to the boost guests receive to their careers once they have appeared on the TV show. But on this occasion the phenomenon failed to 'bump' Chiao into the final 18.

The finalists were selected on the basis of their 30-second video entries and their success in securing high profile endorsement and publicity from celebrities such as Colbert and supermodel Heidi Klum.

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A Tourism Australia survey has revealed that 72 per cent of people who entered the competition are planning to apply for an Australian working holiday visa, with 39 per cent seriously considering taking a working holiday within the next six months.

Tourism Australia managing director Andrew McEvoy said the results show that the competition is already having a positive impact promoting Australia as a desirable holiday destination.

"Whilst much of the attention has focused on the six dream jobs, we shouldn't forget the real purpose of this campaign - to inspire more young people to come down under ..."

The six winners of the competition will be announced on June 21.

THE FINAL 18

Wildlife Caretaker (South Australia)

• Hsin Hsuan Hsieh, Taiwan

• Greg Snell, Canada

• Nick Tilley, US

Chief Funster (NSW)

• Holly Easterbrook, UK

• Brittany Macleod, US

• Andrew Smith, US

Park Ranger (Queensland)

• Elisa Detrez, France

• Chris Leung, Hong Kong

• Jo Muskus, Scotland

Taste Master (Western Australia)

• Rich Keam, UK

• Rebecca Morris, US

• Julian Button, Germany

Outback Adventurer (Northern Territory)

• Allan Dixon, Ireland

• Graham Freeman, US

• Aude Mayans, France

Lifestyle Photographer (Melbourne)

• Moska Najib, Afghanistan

• Marie Michiels, Belgium

• Roberto Seba, Brazil

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