The Top 21 Most Trusted People In Australia

For the past five years, Reader\'s Digest has been conducting an annual survey of Australians nationwide to find out which brands and professions they trust most. In our exclusive 2005 Trust Survey, we\'ve updated those results - and decided to add a fascinating new dimension to our poll: the names of 100 well-known Australian personalities, ranging from actors and sportspeople through to authors, TV presenters, politicians, scientists and even a real-life princess.
 
The better known you are, the more important that ability to instil trust becomes. But as our first Most Trusted People poll shows, you don't have to be running for prime minister to be put to the test.

A statistically representative sample of 756 Australians took part in this section of our online survey.

How can respondents make such judgments about people they don't know personally? They can't on an objective basis. But the reality is every day we unconsciously size up other humans, whether it's a colleague, a stranger at the bus stop or a celebrity on TV. Our instinctive trust antennae are always on alert, like anti-virus software running in the background on a computer. "If we don't know someone personally, we'll judge based on whatever information we know about them at the time," says Pease.

So who do you trust, Australia? Here are the highlights of our poll results:

1. Dr Fiona Wood
The current Australian of the Year, Wood is also a mother of six, director of the Royal Perth Hospital Burns Unit, a plastic surgeon and the co-inventor of CellSpray, a groundbreaking spray-on skin treatment for burns patients worldwide, including victims of the Bali bombings. Says Wood: "Every patient I treat is an inspiration."

2. Olivia Newton-John
With her girl-next-door looks and friendly smile, she is as well known for her acting and singing in Grease and Xanadu as she is for her efforts to raise cancer awareness and her charity work. The 57-year-old mother of one has had a career spanning more than three decades and this familiarity has ensured a legion of trusting fans.

3. Princess Mary
It's the stuff of fairytales. Tasmanian commoner becomes a Danish princess, and in turn becomes the new darling of Australia. The 33-year-old former advertising executive won not only the heart of Prince Frederik but continues to fascinate Australians - and earn their trust - with her beauty, warmth and commitment to charity work.

4. Dr Harry Cooper
At a young age, the TV vet's father gave him a gift - an engraved ruler with the note, "This instrument is ruled to measure distance. It's also the measure of a man's life. Make sure yours is as straight and true as this." Says the 60-year-old father of one: "If you're not honest, kids will see through you every time."

5. Ian Kiernan
At 34, the now 64-year-old former property developer lost his $20 million fortune. The father of two picked himself up to found Clean Up Australia. Named Australian of the Year in 1994, Kiernan says Australians have continued to put their trust in him because "the environment is a primary responsibility for us all."

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