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New president & leadership team announced for AMSRO

MEDIA RELEASE: 28 November 2019: The Association of Market and Social Research Organisations (AMSRO) has announced a new President and leadership team, following its Annual General Meeting.

George Zdanowicz, CEO, Enhance Research has been elected President, Marc L’Huillier, Partner in Advisory at EY and the Managing Partner of EY Sweeney is Vice-President; Simon Wake, CEO, Ipsos is Secretary and Sarah Wrigley, Founder and Director, Gundabluey Research is Treasurer.

George Zdanowicz

AMSRO also welcomed new general member Josephine Foti, Principal, Wallis Market and Social Research, who joins continuing general members Craig Young, Managing Director, Engine; and Rob McLachlan, CEO, Data Management Investment Group, WPPAuNZ.

Commenting on his new role as President, Zdanowicz said: “One of AMSRO’s key goals for 2020 is taking a leadership role on the responsible use of data. Ethical behaviour, independent certification and adherence to privacy law are the three pillars that underpin AMSRO member organisations’ compliance. As part of our ongoing commitment to ensure that trust is maintained in research, AMSRO has Australia’s only industry-specific Australian Privacy Principles privacy code.

“The risks associated with a privacy breach are simply too big to ignore, from a consumer, client and commercial perspective. Our privacy code is fast becoming the benchmark and we will continue to ensure it is fit for purpose.”

More than 50 industry leaders from the research, data analytics and insights industry gathered at AMSRO’s Annual General Meeting and special event to hear from industry, legal and commercial leaders about the current trends in privacy regulation and data ethics.

Research, data and insights organisations across the globe are embracing the most advanced technologies to deliver insights and solutions for clients. However, as the role of big data and automation continues to deepen in our data-first, interconnected digital world, demands are increasing, and the impact on privacy and ethics is top of mind for both regulators and company leaders.

A panel of industry experts, moderated by former business journalist, Rochelle Burbury, included Szymon Duniec (ORIMA Research and AMSRO Privacy Compliance Committee member), Peter Leonard (Data Synergies Law and University of NSW) and Mary Anne Muscat (Westpac) to explore legal and ethical issues around collecting and managing personal information in view of regulatory changes and changing client expectations.

Duniec said: “Maintaining public trust is crucial if the research industry is to achieve its considerable potential to provide evidence-based insights that support value creation, innovation, productivity and high-quality public policy in Australia. As evidenced by having Australia’s first and only registered industry privacy code, AMSRO and its member companies have long demonstrated their commitment to meeting the high standards in data ethics that are a necessary foundation for public trust. Our recent panel discussion highlights AMSRO’s ongoing focus on promoting ethical best practice in data collection and analysis.”

AMSRO also announced the inaugural winner of the Jayne Van Souwe Leadership Award as Darren Pennay, Founder of The Social Research Centre (owned by the Australian National University), recognising his long-term contribution to the industry, the profession and academia.

Accepting the award, Pennay said: “I’m honoured to receive this award that highlights the legacy of Jayne Van Souwe. I respected her greatly as a colleague and a person.

“While I’m honoured, the accomplishments the nominators noted were not mine alone—they reflect the exceptional quality of our team at The Social Research Centre. I’ve been fortunate to spend my career with talented methodologists and researchers who are committed to using high quality data for positive social impact.”

Pennay has more than 30 years of experience in the industry and is also heading the Panel for the Inquiry into the Performance of the Opinion Polls at the 2019 Australian Federal Election (AMSRO Polling Inquiry).

He is an expert survey methodologist and has worked in social research and survey design since 1984. From 2010 to 2015, Pennay played a leading role in the introduction of dual-frame telephone surveys to Australia. He was also key in establishing Australia’s first probability-based online panel – Life in AustraliaTM. In 2014, he was awarded the Research Industry Council of Australia’s Research Effectiveness Award for Innovation and Methodology. He is an Adjunct Professor with the University of Queensland’s Institute for Social Science Research (ISSR), a co-founder of the ANU Centre for Social Research Methods, a Fellow of the Australian Market and Social Research Society and has QPR (Qualified Professional Researcher) accreditation.

The Jayne Van Souwe Research Industry Leadership Award was introduced this year to pay tribute to leaders who have dedicated significant time, energy and expertise on behalf of the wider research community.

Website: AMSRO


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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.