Briton gets taste for Aussie life
A British man has secured a post which has been dubbed "one of the best jobs in the world" as he will eat his way around Western Australia working as a taste master.
Rich Keam, 34, from Brighton was selected from more than 330,000 applicants worldwide for the six-month contract which has a pay cheque of about £61,000. His role will be to seek out the finest produce and discover the best bars and restaurants the region has to offer.
Mr Keam, a musician and costume designer, has spent the last week in Australia with 17 other international finalists undertaking a series of adventure, nature-based, culinary, social media and photography challenges, as part of the competition run by Tourism Australia.
Speaking to BBC Breakfast from Sydney, Mr Keam said he believes his "enthusiasm" got him the job, as well as his "communication skills and creativity". He added: "It's just my love of food and travel and adventure that really attracted me to the role."
When asked about how food from home compared to the cuisine down under, he said: "I love the UK. I love the UK's food, but Western Australia...the seafood is amazing, absolutely amazing. I ate a prawn the other day that was more like the size of half a chicken."
Mr Keam said he was also looking forward to admiring the scenery of Western Australia, visiting the national parks and taking part in some snorkelling.
Irishman Allan Dixon, 27, from Dublin, was awarded the role of outback adventurer in the Northern Territory, and both he and Mr Keam are expected to take up their new jobs between August and December of this year.
Tourism Australia's 'Best Jobs in the World' competition is part of an international marketing push to promote tourism opportunities provided by Australia's Working Holiday Maker (WHM) programme. In the UK, there was a total of 41,712 Working Holiday Visas granted for the 12 month period ending June 2012 - an increase of 7% compared to the same period the previous year.
Andrew McEvoy, managing director of Tourism Australia, said the competition had been extremely tough, and said he hopes Mr Keam takes his "talent, energy and desire" into his new role.
He said: "I'd like to congratulate all of the 18 finalists for the tremendous enthusiasm and effort they have put into this competition. Rich is among six successful candidates that have demonstrated incredible talent, energy and desire throughout the application process and will, I'm sure, take these positive attributes into the job with him."