An interview with Ben Southall – 2009 Best Job In The World Winner

by Mark Benson on July 1, 2013

in General Information

An interview with Ben Southall – 2009 Best Job In The World Winner

An interview with Ben Southall – 2009 Best Job In The World Winner

Australia has been something of a magnet for expats for some time now and the recent Best Job In The World Competition attracted massive interest from around the world. We caught up with 2009 winner Ben Southall and he very kindly agreed to an interview which we have published below.

Ben’s “job” was caretaker of the islands around the Great Barrier Reef and he was based on Hamilton Island. The 2013 competition has just ended and it will be interesting to see how the competition changes the lives of this year’s winners. Anyhow, here is the interview from Ben Southall which perfectly illustrates the impact the competition had on his life and continues to have on his life.

Would you do it all again tomorrow given the chance?

Of course I would. Probably would have changed a few little ‘issues’ I had at the time with life and love but apart from that I’ve ended up with an amazing job in a great country.

What top 3 tips would you give newcomers to Australia?

Prepare to take sledging when it comes to the rugby and cricket…although recent Australian form has rather changed that! When you’re travelling around by car think in days not hours. If you like advertising and reality television then the main terrestrial channels will be perfect for you…if not, like me, television can be rather ‘limited’!

Did you think your life was over when the jellyfish stung you?

I never thought it’d be anything more serious than a stay overnight in the doctors really, I’m an eternal optimist so the experience wasn’t actually too bad… the valium and morphine injections obviously

Has winning the competition and moving to Australia changed your personality?

I wouldn’t say so, I lived in South Africa for six years and they’ve got a very similar attitude and outlook on life – get outdoors, be social and enjoy all the new experiences life throws at you. I’m still the same guy who welcomes people with a handshake and smile I hope.

What were the best and worst elements of life on Hamilton Island?

Island-life is great as you get to know everyone very quickly but it also means that everyone knows your business too. I need to stretch my wings and keep moving so six months on the island was about enough before I had to explore somewhere else. The best parts? Sunsets and trail running around the island. The worst part? Having to pay island prices for everything.

Are you planning further adventures or is it time to sit back and enjoy the sun?

Life for me is all about adventures. I’m off around Australia in a couple of weeks running up the tallest mountain in each Australian state – the Aussie 8 – I’ll rest when I’m 80, not yet.

And lastly, is Colonel Mustard still with you?

Of course he is! I put him in a shipping container the year after Best Job and brought him over. I had lived in him for a year and couldn’t live without the old chap.

We are very grateful to Ben for agreeing to our interview and those who wish to follow him in his adventures can do so at his website www.bestjobben.com.

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