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He may just meet a real anteater

Graham Michael Freeman, who graduated from UCI in 2011, is a finalist for Tourism Australia's Outback Adventurer position.

June 06, 2013|By Rhea Mahbubani
  • Graham Michael Freeman, a UCI alumni, will be leaving for Australia in two weeks to compete for Tourism Australia's official Outback Adventurer.
Graham Michael Freeman, a UCI alumni, will be leaving… (SCOTT SMELTZER,…)

Graham Michael Freeman was seated in a makeup chair before going on “KTLA 5 Morning News” when he recognized Heidi Klum in the neighboring spot.

Freeman was to be interviewed about landing a spot in the top 25 for Tourism Australia's “Best Job in The World” contest, while Klum was on hand for another segment. A conversation sprouted, and the Rancho Cucamonga resident requested the German supermodel's support in his current quest — to be crowned Outback Adventurer of the country's Northern Territory.

“She commented on how I only needed a minute of makeup, and she had been there since the early hours of the morning,” Freeman said.

Before leaving, Klum posed for a photo with Freeman and later even retweeted a message from him as encouragement.

Klum is among the well-wishers who are pushing for Freeman to become one of the top three contestants for Outback Adventurer. The contest, one of several run by Tourism Australia, chooses one person to roam the country's outback and document his or her experiences online for six months.

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According to Leo Seaton, corporate media relations manager for Tourism Australia, an Outback Adventurer must be “full of life” and possess an “adventurous spirit.”

“The Outback Adventurer will get up close and personal with Australian wildlife, sleep under the stars in a bush camp, soar across postcard-worthy landscapes in a hot-air balloon, be immersed in indigenous culture, taste traditional bush foods and gaze upon breathtaking sunsets at Uluru,” he said.

The position comes with a $100,000 salary package, in Australian dollars — half of which will be spent on living expenses. But it comes with duties, including creating content, which will be distributed to media outlets and across the social stratosphere.

“Overall, Graham's entry was a standout based on his excitement for the position, his love for travel, animals, people and his strong storytelling background,” Seaton said.

Daniela Ruah of “NCIS: Los Angeles” and comedian Christopher Titus — also at the KTLA studio that May morning — as well as South African professional golfer Ashleigh Simon, TV actress Samkelo Ndlovu and “Hotel Rwanda” star Mothusi Magano are some of the celebrities who have since endorsed Freeman.

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