Surprising Facts About Australia's 10 Most Trusted People

The top 10 on the Reader’s Digest Australia’s Most Trusted People 2013 list, released Tuesday, are an interesting bunch.

There’s a pediatric neurosurgeon who used to work as a pub bouncer, former advertising executive Princess Mary, and Wolverine Hugh Jackman.

Here are some fun facts that might surprise you:

1. Charlie Teo: Former bouncer and motorbike enthusiast

While studying medicine at the University of New South Wales, Charlie Teo worked at a bouncer at Centrepoint Tavern and later the New Chevron Hotel. The high-profile paediatric neurosurgeon is a fan of fast motorbikes and has turned up to the emergency room in a leather jacket, with a helmet.

2. Fiona Wood: Wanted to be an Olympian

British-born plastic surgeon Fiona Wood was named Australian Of The Year after treating survivors of the 2002 Bali bombings as a burns specialist. But as a child, she dreamed of being an Olympics sprinter until deciding that she wasn't good enough at it.

She has six children with fellow surgeon Tony Kierath: four boys and two girls.

3. Ian Frazer: Inspired by the 'father of his pen-friend's girlfriend'

Ian Frazer developed and patented the technology behind the HPV vaccine with colleague Jian Zhou in 1991. The cervical cancer vaccine is marketed as Gardasil and Cervarix; as of 2008, 80% of schoolgirls had received the Gardasil vaccine under a Government-funded program.

Fraser wanted to be a physicist until a chance encounter with 'the father of his pen-friend's girlfriend', an immunologist. He has three sons: two are doctors and one is a vet.

4. Father Chris Riley: Against gambling legislation

Chris Riley is a Roman Catholic Priest whose non-denominational charity targets young people who are homeless, drug dependent and recovering from abuse.

Riley has lobbied against the taxation of gambling and government proposals to mandate pre-commitment limits for poker machines, arguing that treatment and counselling is a better way to address problem gambling than legislation. Youth Off The Streets has received donations from gaming company Aristocrat and gaming venues.

5. Ian Kiernan: Terribly unpopular with brothel keepers and criminals

Before he was a competitive sailor and founded Clean Up Australia, Ian Kiernan wanted to get into the building industry. In a 2008 Talking Heads interview, Kiernan told ABC's Peter Thompson that he started acquiring 'literally hundreds of terrace houses' in the 1960s, doing them up and renting them out on a 30-35% return.

His real estate ventures made him 'most unpopular with the brothel keepers and the criminals'. His blue cattle dog Alf was his bodyguard at the time.

6. Mary, Crown Princess of Denmark: An ad exec who wanted to be a vet

As a child, Tasmanian-born Mary Donaldson was a competitive horse-rider who dreamed of being a vet. She graduated with undergraduate degrees in Commerce and Law in 1995, and met her Prince Frederick in a Sydney bar during the 2000 Olympics.

7. Dick Smith: Also the name of an extinct koala

Entrepreneur and philanthropist Dick Smith has an extinct miniature koala species named after him: the Litokoala dicksmithi. Scientists think the ancient marsupial existed about 20 million years ago and was smaller and far more agile than the koala of today.

8. Catherine Hamlin: Lunched with the Queen

Obstetrician and gynaecologist Catherine Hamlin has lived in Ethiopia for more than 50 years, where she still works at the Addis Ababa Fistula Hospital at age 89.

Hamlin was one of 30 prominent Australians who joined Governor-General Quentin Bryce and Queen Elizabeth II for lunch at Government House in October 2011.

9. Harry Cooper: Is a global warming skeptic

TV vet Harry Cooper ticked a trip to Antarctica off his bucket list last year, and according to an interview with's Colin Vickery, has weathered thunderstorms and a mini-cyclone at his rural farm in his career.

Cooper is an amateur geologist and doesn't believe that global warming is causing any more severe weather events. 'We're talking about a blip on the surface. The world has been through ice ages, the world has heated up (in the past),' he told News.

10. Hugh Jackman: Too tall to be Wolverine

Hugh Jackman is 1.89m tall, forcing filmmakers to shoot him at unusual angles when he plays Wolverine, who in the Marvel comic series is only 1.60m tall.

He reportedly consumed 6000 calories a day to bulk up for Wolverine and bench-pressed more than 300 pounds (136kg).

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