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Franklin native bellyflops for Australia’s ‘Chief Funster’ job

It’s being billed as “The Best Job in the World,” and Brittany MacLeod is belly flopping on YouTube, posing with a rugby ball, doing a Justin Timberlake takeoff, climbing “down under” cars, and generally doing anything she can think of to show off her personality and secure the job of Chief Funster offered by Tourism Australia.

Who can blame the 21-year-old Franklin native?

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The duties of the Chief Funster for New South Wales, Australia: “Review festivals and events. Tweet, #tag and post your thoughts. Be a Sydney VIP.” And it comes with a six-month compensation package worth $100,000, including air fare and living expenses.

“I knew I had to do something crazy to get their attention, so I belly flopped for the best job in the world,” the Marist College senior said, laughing. “I can’t believe how perfect this would be.”

And neither can a lot of other people around the world.

MacLeod’s video was selected as one of 25 to be “shortlisted” for the Chief Funster position from more than 600,000 inquiries and 45,000 videos submitted from around the world, according to figures provided by Tourism Australia.

Along with MacLeod — who has never been “down under” — five of the others on the list of 25 are from the United States, with the rest from the United Kingdom, Australia, India, Japan, Canada, Mexico, Russia, Lithuania, South Africa, Sweden, and France.

‘It’s like I feel almost like I’m in a relationship with Australia, but it’s unrequited love at this point. . . I just need to get there.’

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Five other positions are being offered along with Chief Funster, including Lifestyle Photographer, Outback Adventurer, Park Ranger, Taste Master and Wildlife Caretaker.

Three finalists for each job will be announced in Sydney on May 15, which is May 14 here because of the 14-hour time difference.

“It’s proving one of the hardest jobs in the world judging our ‘Best Jobs in the World’ competition,” Andrew McEvoy, managing director of Tourism Australia, wrote in an e-mail. “The quality of the entries has been amazing, with so many of the candidates doing a really great job of presenting themselves on video, and through their efforts in getting such impressive endorsements.

“We’ve really seen the power of advocacy at work in the referee stage of the contest. The lengths that some candidates have gone to sell themselves and secure support is commendable, as has their creativity, including using celebrity endorsement, TV, radio, local newspapers, Twitter, creating Facebook campaign pages, writing blogs and uploading videos on YouTube,” he wrote.

MacLeod, known as BMAC to her friends, or “mates” as she now calls them, has done all of the above.

Her celebrity endorsement may be from Franklin model Tucker DesLauriers, who lists New Balance, Hollister and H&M among his credits, and not supermodel Heidi Klum, who endorsed a candidate for the “Outback Adventurer” position, but MacLeod is unfazed.

“I’ve known him forever, he’s great,” she said of DesLauriers.

MacLeod got the moniker BMAC back at Franklin Junior High, where it started as “Big Mac.”

“I didn’t really like that reference,” she said, “so it got shortened to BMAC and that stuck.”

And now, the advertising major is using everything she learned in college to launch her “Send BMAC Down Under” campaign.

There are videos on her Youtube channel, shorter ones on Vine, photos on Instagram, a Facebook page, a Twitter feed, blog, and letters of reference and video references from her friends at home and at college. And, as Marist School of Communications and Arts professor Loribeth Greenan wrote in her recommendation, Mac­Leod’s campaign is “hilarious, it’s entertaining, it’s bold and it’s brilliant!”

“Everything I post is cute and fun, but it all has a message,” MacLeod said. “Pick BMAC, but also, why. So everything has a different reason why I would be great for the job.”

For Greenan, the reason was simple: “BMAC is the wave at a baseball game, or an encore at a concert — she brings added fun no matter where she is.”

MacLeod first heard about the job from her mother, Tracy MacLeod, who saw a story about the contest on television and forwarded a link.

“I couldn’t believe it was a real job, I looked at it and I was hooked,” she said.

She spent about a month coming up with her 30-second main entry video, in which she talks really, really fast with a huge smile on her face, and lists her accomplishments and presence in social media. The video, along with those submitted by the other 24 shortlisted candidates, can be viewed on the Best Jobs Australia website, www.australia.com/bestjobs.

The sandy beach shown in MacLeod’s video is Jones Beach on Long Island in New York.

With less than a week to go before the finalists, who will go to Australia for interviews, are announced, MacLeod admits to doing a bit of peeking at what the other candidates are up to.

“It wouldn’t be a worldwide competition if it wasn’t stiff competition,” she said.

She also admits to not getting much sleep these days as she spends every minute thinking about Australia.

“It’s like I feel almost like I’m in a relationship with Australia, but it’s unrequited love at this point. I’m giving love, love, love, and I’m not getting anything back yet,” she said. “I just need to get there.”

Ellen Ishkanian can be reached at eishkanian@gmail.com.
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