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Joint winners recognised for research industry leadership award

MEDIA RELEASE: October 29 2021: The Australian Data and Insights Association (ADIA, formerly AMSRO) is pleased to announce that the Jayne Van Souwe Research Industry Leadership Award for 2021 has been awarded to Brian Fine, CEO Australia Online Research and Quality Online Research and Martin O’Shannessy, Partner OmniPoll.

Left: Brian Fine Right: Martin O’Shannessy

The judging panel, which comprised of inaugural winner Darren Pennay and former Association presidents Nicola Hepenstall and Yvonne Wallis, unanimously agreed that both Fine and O’Shannessy had demonstrated the outstanding qualities that underpin the industry leadership award.

The Jayne Van Souwe Research Industry Leadership Award was introduced in 2019 in honour of Jayne who dedicated many years to the industry, particularly across governance, privacy and quality. The Award pays tribute to those leaders who have made a significant and long-term contribution to the growth, promotion and advancement of the Australian research, data and insights industry.

Nicola Hepenstall said: “The judging panel was delighted to be able to recognise the contributions of Brian Fine and Martin O’Shannessy; two impressive and talented leaders who have given so much to our industry over many years.

“Brian has played a leading role in ensuring that our online methodologies reflect the best practice principles that have been a hallmark of our industry. He has worked tirelessly over many years dedicating significant time to ensuring high standards of quality, integrity and accuracy.

“While our reputation as an industry is often focused on the technical side of our work, underpinning our efforts is the strong desire to have an impact. Whether we are talking about leading political polling or evidence to inform the decision-making process around major social reforms, Martin has an impressive list of achievements.”

Accepting the award, Brian Fine said: “I am particularly honoured to receive this award. The late Jayne Van Souwe was a highly respected researcher, and a colleague and friend for so many years. Those who knew her well would recall she was passionate about ensuring the quality of research and the fieldwork that underpinned it. It is essential for our industry to have data our clients can trust, and which is valid and representative. My focus over the past 20 years, and that of my team at QOR, has been an obsession with the quality and accuracy of online research.”

Martin O’Shannessy said: “Jayne was an inspiration and a friend to so many of us and I’m proud to be part of an award that bears her name. I am delighted to see that ADIA has retained its sense of purpose and direction over recent years and is clearly going from strength to strength under the leadership of the current board and the unassuming but highly effective Sarah Campbell as CEO.”

ADIA CEO Sarah Campbell, said: “The thriving research, data and insights industry that exists in Australia today has been built on the activities and efforts of individuals who have dedicated significant time, energy and expertise on behalf of the wider research community. As the industry increasingly embraces technology, digitisation and automation, it is important that we recognise and value the critical contributions that our industry leaders make in guiding our transformation and ensuring our continued impact.”

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Bios of the award recipients

Martin O’Shannessy: is a research veteran and one of Australia’s most respected and well-known pollsters. Martin has advised Australian firms, associations and government organisations in hundreds of quantitative studies for Newspoll and IRIS Research. He has maintained a perfect record in opinion polling and has provided advice in some of Australia’s most high profile, sensitive and controversial public affairs situations in recent years. He has held senior industry representative positions including the Advertising Standards Council and the Joint Industry Committee for Radio Research during the 1980s and 1990s. Martin was president of AMSRO in 2009-12 and prior to that, Vice-President in 2008.

Brian Fine: With 40+ years in market and social research, Brian Fine is a leader and innovator in the research industry. Brian was one of the original pioneers of research in the online space within Australia, helping the business market and government bodies to understand implications of the developing technologies as well as working internally to develop quality online panels.

His experience is extensive and includes having been President of AMSRO, Australian ESOMAR representative for seven years, Chairman of STW Insights, founder of AMR Interactive and the ORU, Managing Director of JD Power Australia/NZ, Managing Director Media Metrix Australia, Managing Director of Harris Interactive Australia and Chairman of Research Panel WA.

Website: ADIA

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The Research Society is the peak body for research, insights and analytics professionals in Australia. It has a diverse membership of individuals at all levels of experience and seniority within agencies, consultancies, client-side organisations, the non-profit and government sectors, support services as well as institutions and the academic community. As well as over 2,000 individual members, the Research Society has 125+ company and client partners, with the number continuing to grow. The Research Society research professionals and company partners commit to and are regulated by the Research Society Code of Professional Behaviour.