Park ranger gig might be UQ alumnus’ ‘best’ job ever

1 Jan 2014

A UQ alumnus is in the running for one of the world's best jobs, beating more than 45,000 entrants from 196 counties to score a place as one of the three ‘Queensland Park Ranger' finalists in Tourism Australia's 'Best Job In The World' campaign.

Jo Muskus, who studied ecology and conservation on exchange at UQ in 2008-2009, was selected in the best 25 video clips for Queensland Park Ranger - one of six positions up for grabs – and has now progressed to the second stage of the competition.

Jo has become a self-promotion juggernaut in an effort to raise her social and traditional media profile to support her application and make it to the top three.

Based on her original video submission and supporting references, judges selected Jo as one of the 18 strongest candidates invited to take part in a final assessment in mid-June, all vying for the six ‘best' jobs announced on 21 June.

“I studied on an exchange from Edinburgh University with UQ in 2008,” Jo said.

“One of my favourite memories was the week spent in Lamington National Park where we studied the factors affecting the spiders' distribution and abundance.

“I remember walking through the rainforest in the dead of night with red-light torches, looking at these wee guys perched motionless on the edge of their burrows waiting for passing prey.

“The perfectly circular moss-covered doors of the famous trapdoor spiders were amazing to see,” she said.

If successful, Jo would spend the six-month $100,000 role exploring the world's oldest rainforest, watching whales migrate on the Great Barrier Reef and showcasing Queensland's five World Heritage areas to the world through blogs and social media.

Jo heralds from the Highlands of Scotland where she grew up on a farm.

“Studying ecology in Scotland is great but to do it in Australia where I could go on field trips to rainforests and see wild pythons, and to tropical islands and watch the phosphorescence in the waves at night just can't be beaten,” she said.

Just over four years ago Briton Ben Southall was chosen for Tourism Queensland's 'Best Job in the World' as Island Caretaker on the Great Barrier Reef.

Ben is now a UQ Business School ambassador and has presented his own series on National Geographic's Adventure Channel, kayaked the length of the Great Barrier Reef, sat on a panel of Judges in Havana, Cuba, for the Havana Club 365 Gap Year competition and traversed the world as ‘that Best Job guy'.

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 program.

Find out more about Jo here.