Island time: Hospitality jobs in paradise

Ever considered life on a tropical island?

Each year hundreds of hospitality jobs open up along Australia’s coastline including jobs on island resorts, with tour boat operators and super yachts. Whilst the application process can be competitive, standing out from the crowd often comes down to two things:

  1. Relevant experience; and
  2. A good reference – or in poach terms, a good reference rating.

But how can you angle into these jobs when you’re at the very beginning of your career?

For Anthony Vaughan picking up his dream job took ambition, tenacity and a punt that working for free would eventually pay off in the long run.  At the ripe old age of 22, we talk to Anthony about his journey of living the dream, on island time.

Anthony, how would you describe your job?Reef photo

Its hard to describe. One minute I’m supporting the crew on the ferries, then I’m serving behind the bar, then I’m in the water with a tour group showing them some of the best fish life that the great barrier reef has to offer.

What kind of experience and qualifications does this job require?

When I applied for the job, it was just a general purpose deck hand, which meant tying knots as we docked, vacuuming and handing out sick bags when the weather got rough. I think when I applied I pretty much only had my Responsible Service of Alcohol (RSA). Freedom Fast Cats supported me in picking up a whole heap of qualifications like my Coxswain grade one, first aid, snorkel instructors course, deck hand course. These are all essential now that I’m running the glass bottom boat for tour groups.

What do you like most about your job?

There’s not many days that go by where I’m not in the water with snorkelers, and taking photos of the reef. You’re hanging out with people who generally want to be there so they’re always really easy to get along with and I can talk for hours about this area.

What is the least appealing part of your job?

Rough weather and vacuuming the floors. When someone gets really sick, you do feel very sorry for them.

If this is your day job, what do you do on your days off?

These days I usually hang out with my boss, and we’ll be out there diving again, or head to the island’s water sports and go for a wakeboard.

What advice would you give to other people looking for a job in the tourism or hospitality industry?

Don’t be afraid to do it. If you love what you’re doing you’ll be good at it. You need to take a chance. 

If you’re looking for a change, a break from city life or the mainland in general, register your profile at

poach is one of Australia’s fastest growing hospitality platforms, connecting people with opportunities to thrive everyday. Using a hospitality tailored rating system and algorithm, we focus bringing out the best.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s