Philanthropist Makes Most-Admired List
28 May 2014 at 3:40 pm
An Australian philanthropist is in the top 10 list of public figures that Australians most admire – a list that puts US President Barack Obama in top spot followed by former Australian PM Julia Gillard.
Australian businessman and philanthropist Dick Smith rated number 10 on the list of most admired people in 2013 in a Roy Morgan poll.
Australian entrepreneur, businessman and philanthropist Dick Smith is the founder of Dick Smith Electronics, Dick Smith Foods and Australian Geographic, and was the 1986 Australian of the Year. He was awarded an Officer of the Order of Australia in the Australia Day Honours of 1999 for his services to the community, charity and business.
The Roy Morgan Poll found that US President Obama was named by 12.7 per cent of Australians as one of the public figures they most admire, followed very closely by former PM Julia Gillard (12.3 per cent) putting them into first and second place on the list.
Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), Jan 2013- Dec 2013, n= 10,209. Base: Australians 14+ who named at least one public figure. Respondents were asked: ‘Please write down the names of 3 public figures you admire the most’.
Of the five people whose names came up most often, only two were Australian: former Prime Ministers Julia Gillard and John Howard (7.7 per cent). Nelson Mandela and the Queen also made the top five.
There was a fairly even gender split among President Obama’s admirers, with 48.6 per cent being women and 51.4 per cent being men.
Among former South African President Nelson Mandela’s admirers, the female-male breakdown was similarly close (54.4 per cent women; 45.6 per cent men).
In contrast, women named Julia Gillard and the Queen almost twice as often as men did, while men were far more likely than women to name former PM John Howard as one of their most admired public figures.
Further down the list, but still among Australia’s 10 most-admired public figures, current PM Tony Abbott was more than twice as popular among men as women, and former Governor General Quentin Bryce was named by more than twice as many women as men.
“Throughout the year, as part of its Product Poll, Roy Morgan Research asks Australians to name three public figures they admire the most. Last year revealed some fascinating, sometimes surprising results — one of which is the enduring popularity of former PM John Howard, some six years after he was voted out,” Michele Levine, CEO, Roy Morgan Research, said.
“What’s more, despite the fact that State MPs and Federal MPs are among the least trusted professions in Australia, politicians are widely admired by Australians of all ages, with 64.7 per cent naming at least one.
“Tellingly, although last year’s key players (Gillard, Abbott, Turnbull, Rudd) all made the Top 10, Barack Obama and Nelson Mandela generally out-ranked them.
“But one has to wonder: are politicians so widely admired simply because they’re so omnipresent and unavoidable in Australian public life, compared to other ‘quieter achievers’?”