Ben Southall, who has won what"s been dubbed the Best Job in the World
A British man has been appointed the new caretaker of an Australian tropical island, a position described as "the best job in the world". Do you have an alternative?
Ben Southall, 34, emerged from a field of over 34,000 applicants. His new job requires him to live and report from Hamilton Island, on Queensland's Great Barrier Reef. He will only be required to work 12 hours a month and will get a salary of A$150,000 (£73,500; $110,000).
As well as the salary, the post of caretaker at Hamilton Island comes with a three bedroom beach home, a swimming pool and golf cart.
The job description requires Mr Southall "to explore the islands of the Great Barrier Reef, swim, snorkel, make friends with the locals and generally enjoy the tropical Queensland climate and lifestyle".
This debate is now closed. A selection of your comments appear below.
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I think my dream job would involve leaving the boring 9 - 5 lifestyle behind and writing or drawing superhero comics and helping to show children the difference between good and evil.
Wayne Skelding, Worcester, UK
Stay at home mum!
This is just a publicity stunt devised to boost tourism. It sounds like the most boring and pointless job in the world. I already share the best job in the world, I'm retired!
Tom, Exeter, UK
Being prime minister. I would do a lot better then the current one.
To be chairman of the Arts Council with an unlimited budget.
Bugginsturn, Winchester, UK
To work as an Egyptologist, and excavate at El Amarna.
My dream job wouldn't be just one particular job. At the moment I'd love to travel and keep records of unspoiled habitats all over the world. But things are changing and maybe I'd want to become a pilot one day. You should always have the opportunity to do whatever you want to.
Thomas, Saarbrucken, Germany
Not a cat food taster! Ugh!
I'm a university student now. I'm studying English language education in Japan, and am now staying in Scotland as a student. I'm on the way to get my dream job. Although, in Japan, a teacher's salary is not so good, but I'd like to make students like English. To get my dream job, I'd like to spend meaningful time here.
Sakurako Takano, Japan
My dream job would be re-opening the Rover Plants and to see that once proud marque come back into existence so that at the very least we can buy something British. Second best would be going to work on a steam locomotive.
LeoRoverman, Welling Kent
Without a doubt it would be a jet pilot (F16, F22 etc). Second to that it would be an F1 driver. Sigh.
Luke, Melbourne, Australia
I am web designer and I have to deal with computer all days. My dream job would be to work in a travel agency and travel the whole world and see different places and people and work with Real people and not a bunch of hardware.
Wasim, Ahmedabad, India
I've got my dream 'job' - early retirement. For the first time in my life I get to stay at home and just be a mum for my partner and children. I love it - so does the dog as she gets loads of walks, the kids know I'm here when they come in from school, and my partner and I have dinner together every night - bliss!
My dream job would be to start a huge animal sanctuary in the UK and also help improve the lives of animals abroad. I don't think people realise the horrific suffering that many animals endure through cruelty, ignorance and greed. If I could help to alleviate their suffering that would be the best job in the world.
S Wallace, Essex, UK
My job is too a dream job. For 25 years I have worked for a small manufacturer that builds machines and ships them all over the world. I compile the information for the machines and archive it so that people in the future will have the information needed to do their jobs. It is a demanding relentless job where I have had no window but see the beauty of the world in the eyes and smiles of my fellow hard workers. We seek only to improve ourselves, our company and our world by doing our best. You meet the nicest people when working hard.
Lou, Stewartstown USA
My dream job is retirement. 22 pay packets and I achieve it.
Steve Maguire, West Midlands, UK
I am enjoying my dream job as an F-16 Aircraft Engineer here in Norway. Beautiful country, very good pay, stunning ladies, great friends... but the beer is £8 a pint!
Richard Hill, Lillestrom, Norway
The ultimate dream job has got to be bed tester. Getting to lie in bed all day would be a welcome change for most working people I think.
Colin Walker, Cardiff
Job and dream they are two different words with two different meanings. A job cannot be a dream if employees are answerable to the boss. The best dream job in the world is self employment. Instead of looking jobs, if people think of doing self employment with minimum amount of money, I think that would be the dream jobs for many in the world and with the passage of time it will also create employment opportunities for the unemployed.
Syed A. Mateen, Karachi, Pakistan
Dream job: crushing the vehicles of motorists who park on the pavement and make lots of noise with their stereo systems.
arthur priest, leicester UK
I have got my dream job...it's being retired. I can potter round my allotment, join education classes, go on holiday at the drop of a hat, enjoy free and subsidised travel with my bus pass, etc.
I hope with all my heart that subsequent generations can look forward to such a happy retirement.
Elizabeth Philips, Halifax UK
My dream job would be to help my friend in Zambia to teach children there that are impoverished how to read, have fun and become aware of health issues that are causing major culls to the African population like AIDS and Malaria. I would like to be able to travel anywhere after that and help children who really want to learn. Well done though Ben, I'm jealous!
Odessa Wilson, Milton Keynes
My dream job would be to run a library - like that of a Barnes and Noble store - however without any sales pressure.
Nirudhoddi Jayasrinivasulu, Hyderabad, India
My dream job would be to work full time for the Campaign for real ale and travel the country sampling beer. Lovely!
Tim Lloyd, Reading
My dream job would be musician, being able to travel the world would be excellent in my opinion, not to mention the fact that music saves lives and I would bring people happiness.
Taylor, Leeds, Yorkshire
My dream job would be traveling photojournalists. I would like to travel the world mostly Africa, Australia, and some parts of Asia and South America; keeping a blog about my journeys online and in books that I write. I enjoy meeting new people, learning about different cultures and eating exotic foods. I also like architecture and african animals and sailing.
Blake , Alabama, USA
My dream job would be to become a musical theatre actress, even if that means me waiting tables or answering phones in between jobs. I'd sacrifice anything in order to achieve this, as musical theatre is my absolute passion. I also would love to do some part time work for a charity - perhaps go out to less deprived countries and help to give less fortunate children an education. Neither of them is going to make me money in order to send my parents off on a round the world cruise in thanks for putting me through Uni, but they'll be proud of me if I even get close to achieving my goal.
Erin, Southend, UK
My perfect job? To own my own guesthouse on the North Yorkshire moors. To be my own boss in the most beautiful place in the world, stunning sea views and rolling countryside, a white cottage, with it's own beach path and the most comfortable and relaxed environment - to be paid as well for that would be bliss.
Rebecca, Wakefield, England.
My dream job would be to travel the world just to spend my days in observatories and my nights with my telescope and CCD camera gazing at the stars.
Patrick Moore, I am not, but I can give it a good bash!
Natalie Hansen, Woodford Green, Essex
Ben, I'm afraid takes second place to me. I have always been a keen angler and work for DHP Ltd the largest publisher of angling magazines in Europe. I have the pleasure of working with the World's finest anglers every day AND I get paid for it, without being banished to an island. Sorry Ben!
Trevor Northan, Warwick
Looking after donkeys. They are the sweetest, wisest and most loveable animals. If not donkeys I'd run a sanctuary for rescued factory farmed animals to show them that not all humans are lacking in compassion and just see animals as a way of making money at the animals'expense.
Dharma Cat, Kent
I have it already. It's low paid, a long journey from home, but the people are great and after being unemployed for two years it's a dream.
David Fiennes, Brighton, East Sussex
I'd love to be the guy who gets to build the massive Lego replica buildings and people for the Lego lands.
Tony, Milton Keynes
I always wanted to be a cowboy...
Ali Maq, Chelmsford, Essex, UK
I would love to be Tiger Woods' caddy for all the travel and opportunity to see some of the best golf being played 1st hand not to mention the pay
Paul Cawthra, Basingstoke
My dream job would to be chief chocolate taster at Nestle and have free access to a spa and gym to de-stress myself at
Juliette Redfearn, Hayfield England
I'm doing my dream job now - Website Support, working flexi hours from "home". In my case this is travelling round Europe in my luxury caravan, currently at a beautiful beachside location in Marbella. I would need a huge offer to tempt me back into an office. Good luck to Ben on his island, shame it's just 6 months, that will fly by.
Charlie, Marbella, Spain
My ideal job would be to stay at home, keep the house clean and tidy, grow my own vegetables, cook 3 course dinners every night, and have someone else have the stress of working to make the money to support the house and the family.
Rachel in Kentucky, Louisville, KY, USA
Ultimate dream job - F1 driver. Realistic dream job - Engineer and test driver for a major sports car manufacturer.
Mike Hart, Birmingham
My dream job would be to be paid handsomely to read books and magazines all day, a nice comfy chair log fire ond wintery days, french doors wide open on summer days and peace to revel in all manor of books, Ah bliss
My dream job would be here in my country, working as an English teacher for poor children, as a valounteer, but with a very nice and equipped English Language School. That´s all.
Sandra Oliveira, São Paulo, Brazil
If I had the money and knowledge, my dream job would be is to either breed Persian Cats, run a cattery or a rescue centre for domestic and wild animals.
My ideal job would be to use my artistic skills to redesign and reuse materials for the benefit of people and the environment. I believe that art should give back to the community. My current job is my 'second choice'--I educate artists. It is good to encourage creativity, so many jobs involve destruction.
Nancy, Toronto, Canada
l would love to be part of the extreme makeover home edition here in the US, making a wonderful dream come to life for someone would be the best job in the world.
Michelle Pickles, Harrisburg PA USA
I already have it - and am just about to finish my lunchbreak and spend yet more time stitting talking to young people and get paid for it! Teaching 6th form is fun :-)
Megan, Cheshire UK
I am living my dream job! I teach yoga and enjoy it immensely.
Sophie Mhun, Montreal, Canada
I would like to be a professional cat cuddler.
I am very lucky as I have already had my dream-come-true job. I work in the theatre industry and the job I suddenly got was a lifetime ambition realised by the time I was 25 years old. I still pinch myself. Once you've got what you've always wanted your ambitions grow again and the goal posts change. All I can hope for now is to win the lotto. That would be nice.
Being paid to do something you'd pay to do yourself has to be the ultimate lifestyle statement. I think mine would be to develop something so unique that the demand for it would be global, that people would pay for my time and involvement, that it would lead me to meet and share ideas with others and that ultimately it would be something that would improve how we live today.
drp117, Belfast, NI
Be a Premier League footballer earning £50k a week while sitting on the bench every week.
Wayne N, London
Pussycat Dolls body makeup artist! It would be a worthwhile investment to get qualified... :D
Be able to become a full time artist or songwriter and give up this office life.
Matthew, Reading, Berkshire
My dream job would be to work for the Bank of England in quality control, testing money, to ensure it can be spent.
Duncan, Salisbury, UK
My dream job is to work in the health sector, as it is considered as one of the most important aspects of human life. The more I am healthy, the more I can do productive work. I could save the lives of more people, particularly those living in rural areas of Nepal.
Rinku Lepcha, Nepal
My ideal job would be in the sunshine...surf shorts and a T' on, cleaning out some rich person's pool and doing the gardening. Sounds like heaven in the sunshine all day everyday!
Gareth, Leeds, UK
What 'best job in the world' would I like? Towel attendant, Stewardesses Shower Room, Terminal 5.
May I say congratulations to Queensland on a massive tourist board marketing coup! Only a few weeks ago Hamilton was smashed by a category 5 cyclone and during the wet season cyclone threats and heavy winds come thick and fast.
Swimming in the sea without a full stinger suit is also incredibly perilous as irukanji and chironex fleckeri, box jellyfish can kill you in 30 seconds. Crocodiles are also known to stray down as far as Hamilton island.
At the moment any job would be a dream job. I got made redundant 3 years ago and have applied for hundreds without ever getting even an interview. So any job that stops my family and I ending up on the streets would be good.
As for the fantasy, working on Top Gear would be laugh.
As a Queensland inhabitant I would just like to point out a little reality here!
Ally in Queensland, Magnetic Island, Queensland
I wouldn't mind being a quality control tester for a sweet manufacturer. As I have several decades worth of practical experience as a customer I think I would be suitably qualified :-)
PollyBelle, Harlow, Essex
I think I've the best job in the world. I work at a high street video games retailer and get to sell and talk about my favourite topic.
As an ex-pat settled in Canada, I still love to travel. Especially to interesting and exotic places such as Marrakesh, Bangkok, Nairobi. That along with my social worker background and my love to shop would make me the perfect candidate for the commentator/facilitator on a travel show about the outdoor local Markets of the world.
Helen Ward, Courtice, On, Canada
I have been living my dream job for the last twelve years. I manage a community resource centre where we collect safe re-usable waste from industry and donate it to educational and community groups for art and craft projects. It is the only job I have had where every day people thank me sincerely for what I am paid to do, quite simply the best job ever!
Paul Elleston, Littlehampton, England
My dream job would be not to be at my present job. I would be travelling the world, reporting on my adventures on a blog or other means, being paid for the "work" and enjoying life and doing different things every day.
Nina, Bristol, UK
I'd like to get a job in Whitehall - regardless of what government is in power- and start leaking like a colander. Just for the sheer mischief of it.
Jim Corrigan, Gateway City