Ausralians look for important qualities when choosing their most trusted people: medical practitioners and scientists have them and so do musicians who relate to kids.

the wiggles

The Reader’s Digest Most Trusted Poll ranks burns specialist and 2005 Australian of the Year, Dr Fiona Wood, as the most trusted Australian for the third year in a row.

The creator of the cervical cancer vaccine, Scots-born Professor Ian Frazer, is the second most trusted Australian and children’s band The Wiggles come in third on the list.

At the other end of the list, self-confessed terrorism supporter David Hicks and Islamic cleric Sheik Taj Aldin Alhilali are the least trusted Australians.

Reader’s Digest editor-in-chief Tom Moore said the top ranking people were trustworthy because they have values Australian people respect.

"They are well-known, familiar and respected, consistent, reliable and honest and they all have a generosity of spirit," Mr Moore said.

Director of Research at social research group Ipsos Mackay Report, Dr Rebecca Huntley, said she was not surprised Dr Wood and Professor Frazer topped the list.

She said Australians trust people who had been high achievers, were involved in their communities and had a warm approach.

Dr Huntley said The Wiggles fitted into that category.

"Many parents’ afternoons have been saved by The Wiggles," she said.

Dr Huntley said while people were most likely to nominate family and friends as their most trusted people, the Most Trusted poll showed people got to know high-profile people through their public profile.

Television personality Rove McManus has moved up the list this year to the 18th most trusted person, and Dr Huntley says people respect the way he dealt with his wife Belinda Emmett’s death with "dignity and decorum".

Bindi and Terri Irwin are ranked at six and seven, despite crocodile hunter Steve Irwin never having ranked in the top ten while he was alive.

Mr Moore said Australians were impressed with how the family dealt with his death.

He said Australians admired how Bindi, "modelled herself in (her father’s) image".

Dr Huntley said that while there were still questions surrounding the case of Guantanamo Bay detainee David Hicks case, Australians would not trust him.

Despite wide public support for his release from Guantanamo Bay, Dr Huntley said people felt he may not be "completely innocent".

"The interesting thing … is that I think people felt David Hicks had betrayed his country (even though) his detainment was unfair," she said.

On the rankings of most trusted professions, at the top of the list were ambulance officers, firefighters and nurses, while the least trusted were politicians, car salesmen and telemarketers.

Mr Moore said people trusted those in medical and emergency services roles because they had to.

"They are selfless people, they basically save people and they need to be trusted," he said.

"There is an element of heroism and we all respect that."