Helped by its massive natural resources, Australia has weathered the global financial crisis better than other Group of 20 economies. In 2012, its economy grew 3.1 per cent, compared with 1.6 per cent in the United States and 1.1 per cent in Canada.
Local makes final for dream job Down Under
A Hongkonger is one of the 18 finalists for Australia's Best Jobs in the World campaign, and will travel to Australia next month for the final challenge.
Chris Leung Yin-chung, an ecology and evolutionary biology student at Princeton University in the United States, is applying for the post of park ranger, in Queensland. He will compete with two other applicants, from France and Britain, for the job.
Also among the finalists is Taiwanese woman Hsieh Hsin-hsuan, who will do battle with candidates from Canada and the US for the job of wildlife caretaker, in South Australia.
Other jobs include chief funster, outback adventurer, lifestyle photographer and taste master.
Leung, 22, said yesterday he did not know what tasks were ahead of him in Australia, but making it to the final round was "incredible". "It's also a big relief because the two weeks in which I needed to garner public attention were very stressful … I am glad that the hard work paid off."
Leung will travel to Australia next month for a week for the final stage of the competition. If he gets the job, he will be paid a salary of A$50,000 (HK$385,760), plus allowances and benefits worth another A$50,000.
Fellow Hongkonger Raven Cheng Ho-lam, who made it to the top 25 but was not picked for the final stage, said it was great fun even though he missed out on the job. "I haven't done such a big project before, and I'm very thankful to all my friends who helped me," said Cheng, whose Facebook page for the campaign drew nearly 40,000 likes. "I feel like I have just had a happy but exhausting dream."
Cheng has instead applied for the working holiday scheme in Australia, and plans to leave for the country in two months. He said he would publish a book about his experience when he returned to Hong Kong, in which he would share his working holiday and travel tips. "One must travel. You'll meet great people. I also want to tell Hongkongers not to give up their dreams," he said.