It started out as an ordinary evening. I’d been for a long rock climbing session after work at The Arch, then hopped off the bus a stop early to take in the warm night breeze with a walk along the Thames. Then my phone rang. It was an Australian number. My Mum.
She was a little bit excited. Something unexpected had happened.
Earlier this month, I’d applied to be a Park Ranger in Queensland, as part of Tourism Australia’s Best Jobs in the World competition. With more than 600,000 expressions of interest for the jobs, I put it into the back of my mind (sitting on a shelf next to my memories of Australian wilderness adventures). Here’s my alliterative attempt:
Result? Success! I made it onto the shortlist for the job. You can see the other 24 brilliant shortlisted candidates here. But that’s only the beginning; now I need to complete a tricky but exciting task to win a place in the final 3 – I need to find an ‘ultimate referee’.
It’s a perfect job for me. I lived in Queensland for 7 years and studied Environmental Science and Wildlife Management there. The state has some of the most inspirational natural locations in the world – obvious ones, like the Great Barrier Reef, but some less so, like the wonderful Chillagoe National Park. I spent a healthy wodge of 2010 exploring off Queensland’s beaten track. These places are assets for Australia and the world, so promoting and protecting them is a worthy cause.
Six months as an adventurous ambassador for the state’s most stunning areas would be a dream. For the next two weeks, I’m going to be pulling out the stops to make it a reality!