Along with all the views, there have also been a lot of questions. So, I'm going to do my best to answer any and all questions here. Here it goes:
Is This A Real Job?
Absolutely. This is a genuine position with Tourism Queensland. There’ll be a thorough recruitment process – this isn’t a competition based on luck.
What are the duties of the Island Caretaker?
The Island Caretaker will need to post a weekly blog, photo diaries and create video updates to let the world know about the unique experiences available on the Islands of the Great Barrier Reef. There will also be some interviews with members of the media. The contract involves spending six months on Hamilton Island, one of the Islands of the Great Barrier Reef. The Island Caretaker will also travel to other islands and enjoy activities such as sailing, kayaking, snorkelling, diving, picnics, bushwalking and more.
What is included with the job?
One return airfare from your nearest capital city in your home country, accommodation and transport on Hamilton Island, travel insurance for the six-month contract period, access to a computer, internet, digital video and stills camera, plus travel to a number of the Islands of the Great Barrier Reef.
Where will you live?
The Island Caretaker will live in a three-bedroom home on Hamilton Island. We'll also be given a "buggy" (golf cart) to get around the island.
Will you get paid?
Of course!! We'll be paid $150,000 Aussie dollars (roughly $105,000 US dollars) for 6 months of "work". WAY MORE than we make in a YEAR.
What will you do about Jasons job?
He'll quit. I know it sounds harsh, but this IS the opportunity of a lifetime, and we are making more than we've ever dreamed of making...so it won't really be a big deal. This is HIS idea, remember.
If he quits, what will happen when you come back?
If Grand Lux won't take him back, we'll take our stuff and go back West to be with family. In fact, this is kind of the way we're HOPING it will turn out. Jason will either find another job in a part of the country we want to be in, or he will return to school.
Now that you mentioned "stuff", what will you do with your house, car, and possessions while in Australia?
We are renters, and the job conveniently starts the exact day our lease is up. We will sell or donate almost EVERYTHING...most of our furniture and belongings, and store what we keep. Without Jason working for The Grand Lux, we will no longer have the BMW, so we will only store one car. It's possible we might even get some family or friends to take it for us, or take over payments.
What about education for your kids?
I am very confidant in my ability to home school. I did it over the summer with my kids, and we had great success (see blog posts for June, July, and August 2008). I also plan on working something out with my children's schools where they can work with their classes through live webcasts, giving my kids classroom time, and the schools the unparalleled experience of having a classmate share their experience from the Great Barrier Reef. And in a place Hamilton Island - just BEING there will be educational in every way, every day.
What about things like doctor visits and emergencies?
Health is VERY important to our family. We will, of course, make sure all our doctor, dental, ortho, and optometrist appts. are up to date before we go. We don't know yet if we'll Cobra Jasons insurance, buy temporary health insurance on our own, or be content with the travelers insurance they provide. Right now - we're leaning towards the latter, but we need to do more research.
Okay - I guess you HAVE thought this through. When will you know if you've been chosen?
The Tourism Board will chose 50 short-list candidates by March 2. People will vote on those 50...just like you're rating mow. Out of those 50, 10 will be chosen by the Board to travel for a final interview on Hamilton Island. In addition, the one video applicant that gets THE MOST VOTES will be sent as a "Wild Card" applicant. While on Hamilton Island, there’ll be a panel-style interview as well as group activities with plenty of opportunities to enjoy the life above the Great Barrier Reef. There will be skills tests, practice interviews, etc. After that, the Board will make the final decision, and the job will start July 1 and finish January 1, 2010.
Wow!! This sounds really great!! How can I help you guys do this?
Just keep viewing our video, or send an e-mail to ask other people to view it. And if you get the chance, check out our blog at http://www.thejohnsonsjungle.blogspot.com/ and make comments there. We added our blog address on our video interview, and if the Board checks out our blog, we want them to see that it is well-written, engaging, and that people actually read it...and if they read it now, they'll DEFINITELY read it if we're posting about living in the Great Barrier Reef.
Thanks again for viewing our video, guys!! I am SO GRATEFUL to have such amazing friends. You guys ROCK!!!
We'll keep you updated as things progress!!