The Research Society is the peak body in Australia for everyone engaged or interested in market, social and opinion research, whether you use it or provide it and data analytics, customer experience and insight.

The Research Society 65 Years

The Research Society Members come from the broad research sector:
  • Market, social and opinion researchers
  • CX, UX, design and service research professionals
  • Data analysts and data experts
  • Insight professionals
  • Evaluation specialists
  • Operations and panel experts
  • Recruiters
  • Interviewers
  • Academics, Graduates and Students
  • Anyone interested in research

Formerly the Australian Market and Social Research Society (AMSRS), the organisation has been Australia's most trusted research Society since 1955. For 65 years The Research Society has self-regulated its research professionals effectively by members adhering to the Code of Professional Behaviour that aligns with Australian Privacy requirements. The Code is intended to foster public confidence and to demonstrate practitioners' recognition of their ethical and professional responsibilities when carrying out research.

The Research Society has over 2000 individual professional members and 101 partner organisations that include research agencies and end-client organisations that commission research, in commercial and government sectors.

We provide additional organisational discounts and benefits to Partners as well as included individual membership for their employees. Everything offered and undertaken at The Research Society is designed to promote, protect, connect and develop members and partner organisations.

What The Research Society does for the research sector

The Research Society supports the research sector with specialist training and professional qualification (QPR), professional membership, company certification (ISO and Fair Data), cutting edge conferences; awards and advice on standards and best practice.

  • Professional development - Through specialist training (live and on demand), the Qualified Professional Researcher (QPR) accreditation, mentoring. We upskill individuals and organisations within the research sector.
  • Conferences and Events - Our comprehensive events program includes an annual National Conference, digital conferences, state Conferences, networking opportunities, special interest groups and network events.
  • Thought leadership - We publish the Research News magazine, the ResearchNewsLive blog and weekly e-newsletter, provide free webinars, as well as providing access to local and global research, whitepapers, journals and archive libraries.
  • Awards - the Research Society hosts the sector's key Research Awards that include the Research Effectiveness Awards, the Conference Awards, Fellowship and Awards for outstanding individuals and organisations.

The Research Society also provides a host of support services and initiatives to ensure professionals and organisations stay connected, relevant and able to generate business.

  • Research Company Directory - Used by client researchers and procurement professionals, the online Research Company Directory is the only source of accredited research suppliers in Australia.
  • Member Directory - used by members and clients, the Member Directory allows individual members to promote their membership and qualifications to clients and the research community.
  • Fair Data - Fair Data is a recognised data compliance mark that enables consumers to make educated choices about their personal data.
  • Online communities - we have special interest groups and networks (Independent Research Consultants; Client Networking Group; Young Researchers Network; Recruiters Group; Government & Social Researchers Network) that connect through email Grapevines and online communities.
  • Research Job Board- the specialist jobs board for the research and insight sector. The Job Board is a free service.
  • ResearchNewsLive- the definitive daily news site for the sector also featuring in-depth articles and commentary pieces from Research News magazine.
  • Local and Global Partnerships - the Research Society has strategic partnerships with 45 research associations across the globe to ensure the sector is kept up to date with the latest local and global research, methodologies and trends.

The Research Society consults with business and government leaders to ensure that research stays at the forefront of commercial and political agendas. We work on your behalf to ensure the sector stays relevant and recognised.

  • The Research Society Code of Professional Behaviour - Adherence to the Research Society Code, as a practitioner or supplier, is a pre-requisite for many key commercial and government tenders.
  • Surveyline service - We provide an online verification service where everyone can check the validity or bona fides of member research suppliers through our online website or by calling the tollfree Research Society number 1300 364 832.

The changing sector

Our sector is growing and changing. The Research Society represents the research sector and includes 2000 individual Members and 95 leading research Company and Client Partners who employ over 12,000 permanent and casual employees. Our Members and Company Partners conduct research for the majority of Federal and State Government Departments, Local Governments and ASX top 200 companies. Our Client Partners commission research and include ASX top 200 companies as well as government departments and agencies. The Australian research and insights industry generates over $1 billion of economic activity annually, with all levels of Government representing a significant portion of this.

The Research Society partnership also includes tertiary and higher education institutions and it's membership represents academic, graduate and student interests.

The Research Society Board

  • President - Vicki Arbes
  • Vice-President - Tiina Raikko
  • Treasurer - Gail Thomson
  • Board Director - Susan Bell
  • Board Director - Simon Edwards
  • Board Director - Peter Harris
  • Board Director - Lyndall Spooner
  • Company Secretary - Elissa Molloy - The Society CEO

Dr Vicki Arbes

Dr Vicki Arbes
President

Read Bio Here.+

PhD, MAPS, QPR, Fellow of The Research Society
Vicki has been involved with The Research Society since she started in the industry over 30 years ago and became a Fellow of the Society in 2006. Vicki has built and run a number of successful market research agencies, including Open Mind, Hall & Partners Open Mind and now Whereto Research, all of which have been AMSRO members. She has a particular interest in building and maintaining professional standards, and has a long involvement in The Research Society training program. Vicki been a reviewer for the International Journal of Market Research for over 10 years, and has chaired and co-chaired two Research Society conferences. She has spent a career trying to shake up the public image of market researchers as ‘interviewers with clip boards’ and to help position our industry as creative, dynamic and full of thought leaders Vicki came onto The Research Society Board in 2016 specifically to help encourage top graduates into this exciting but under-appreciated industry.

Tiina Raikko

Tiina Raikko
Vice-President

Read Bio Here.+

Tiina has spent over 27 years with blue chip organisations on both the agency and client side of research. She spent over 10 years in client service, most of that time with Yann Campbell Hoare Wheeler/Millward Brown, working across the government, consumer goods and services sectors. In 2003 she moved to Unilever where she was Director of Consumer Insight and Marketing Operations for Australasia before launching her own consultancy, Fuel, in 2009. Tiina has been a member of The Research Society since 1992, has spent many years on the conference committee - 2017 as co-chair, judged REAs and chaired RICA’s Client Advisory Board for 4 years. Tiina joined The Research Society Board in 2017 with the aim to work toward a successful merger with AMSRO. She is also keen to work with the Board to optimise value for members with a particular interest in building client and young researcher engagement with the society.

Gail Thomson

Gail Thomson
Treasurer

Read Bio Here.+

QPR, Fellow of The Research Society
Gail is currently Director of independent Melbourne-based research agency Reflections Research, which she established in July 2011. She has been part of the market and social research industry for over 25 years, having also held senior research positions client-side at Telstra and Ansett Australia and agency-side at swat marketing. Gail is a generalist researcher, offering her clients a range of secondary research, qualitative and quantitative services. She has extensive experience researching consumers and B2B markets in the not-for-profit and commercial sectors. She has also undertaken developmental research for public information and education campaigns on behalf of government agencies. Gail is committed to making a contribution to the industry. She has served on various market and social research quality standards committees since 2000; she was National Treasurer between 2011 and 2016, Professional Standards Committee (PSC) member between 2014 and 2015 and PSC Chair between 2015 and 2018. Gail is currently a member of the QPR committee and was recently co-opted onto the Board as incoming Treasurer (from November 2018). Gail is a Research Society Fellow and has been a Qualified Professional Researcher (QPR) since its inception. She holds an MBA from the AGSM (Australian Graduate School of Management).

Sue Bell

Sue Bell
Board Director +

Read Bio Here.+

Fellow of The Research Society
Sue heads the boutique agency Susan Bell Research which she established in 1994, conducting qualitative, quantitative and/or cultural insight projects for commercial and government clients. She is a Qualified Professional Researcher (QPR), a Fellow of The Research Society and a Fellow of the Australian Marketing Institute (AMI). She holds a BA (Hons) in English and Linguistics, a Graduate Diploma in Psychology, a Marketing Diploma, and Certificates in Advanced Semiotics, and in social media research. Sue was the Chair of the IRG for many years, was Chair of The Research Society Conference in 2005 and Conference committee member before that; NSW State Chair (and National Council member) from 2006 to 2010 and is currently a QPR assessor. Sue has long been a passionate advocate for qualitative research and has been a regular speaker at The Research Society training events, at The Research Society Conference, and elsewhere.

Simon Edwards

Simon Edwards
Board Director +

Read Bio Here.+

Simon is the Research & Insights Lead for ANZ Bank. In this role, Simon leads the Research practice area for the bank covering areas such as Brand & Communications, Customer experience, Design Research and Market Intelligence. Simon’s brief at ANZ has been to lead a holistic research approach that takes into account long established research practices combined with Design Research practices to provide the comprehensive evidence bases required for innovation and transformation. Simon is particular interested in new proposition development and service design. Simon has been working in financial services for 13 years, having lead the Insights Function at the Commonwealth bank and the Insights & Analytics function at Bankwest. Prior to client side roles, Simon has worked for market research companies such as ACNielsen in Media and Evalue working on customer experience programs. Simon first commenced his career in quantitative roles as a statistician. Simon has an MBA from Macquarie University, a Social Science Degree from UNSW and serves on the Board of The Research Society.

Peter Harris

Peter Harris
Board Director +

Read Bio Here.+

QPR, Fellow of The Research Society
Peter is the Executive Vice President and Managing Director, Asia Pacific, Potentiate. Peter helps brands build authentic customer relationships through technology. Pioneering customer intelligence since 2010, Peter Harris has led Vision Critical Asia Pacific to become the largest customer intelligence software provider, supporting over 140 customer-led brands, in Asia Pacific such as Telstra, Westpac and Qantas. With deep roots in research and strategy, Peter has championed the future of research and technology across his leadership roles at prominent research organisations, including The Research Society, APRC and GRBN. Peter is an active Fellow of both the Australia Marketing Institute and Australian Market and Social Research Society. B.Comm, Qualified Professional Researcher (QPR), FAMSRS, FAMI.

Lyndall Spooner

Lyndall Spooner
Board Director +

Read Bio Here.+

B.Sc., M.Com., QPR
Like many people I fell into market research more than twenty years ago. It wasn’t a conscious career choice, but it has become my only career choice and I’m very thankful for the serendipitous introduction. I started as a researcher within business and technology consulting firms before taking a role with a market research company in 2000, and then starting Fifth Dimension in 2006.Over that time our industry has changed dramatically – not just from advances in technology, but to a fragmentation of research into several sub-industries that today often have a higher profile than market research. I am very passionate about our industry and I would like the opportunity to use my knowledge of consulting and technology, my networks, my research experience and passion for innovation and disruption, to drive a stronger profile for market research and regard for the skills and integrity of a market researcher. I believe we can push the boundaries of what everyone from university students to C-suite, and most importantly market researchers, believe that market research can deliver in terms of value.

Elissa Molloy

Elissa Molloy
Company Secretary +

Read Bio Here.+

CEO, The Research Society

The Research Society National Office Team

Elissa Molloy

Chief Executive Officer
Elissa Molloy

+61 2 9566 3100
elissa@researchsociety.com.au

Leslea Clements

Events and Conferences
Leslea Clements

Events & Operations Manager
+61 2 9566 3100
leslea@researchsociety.com.au

Judy Williams

Membership
Judy Williams

Membership Coordinator
+61 2 9566 3100
judy@researchsociety.com.au

Julie Regan

QPR Accreditation
Julie Regan

QPR Manager
+61 2 9566 3100
julie@researchsociety.com.au

Louise Jones

Accounts
Louise Jones

Finance Officer
+61 2 9566 3100
louise@researchsociety.com.au

Jane Gregory

Professional Standards
Jane Gregory

Professional Standards Officer, Fellow of The Research Society
PSO@researchsociety.com.au

Governance

Constitution and Regulations

The Research Society Annual Report
Download The Research Society Annual Report 2018-19

The Research Society Constitution
Download The Research Society Constitution

The Research Society Regulations
Download The Research Society Regulations - available to members only

Board Nominations and Voting 2020

Before the annual general meeting (AGM) each year Full members of The Research Society must elect 3 directors for a 2 year term. This year the AGM will be held in Sydney on 25 November 2020 (venue tbc).

The call for nominations for 2020 Board membership will open on Wednesday 7th October and close on Wednesday 21st October 2020. Voting will be open to all Full financial members from Wednesday 3rd November 2020.

Information on the current Board can be found above. The Research Society commission an independent third party company, to conduct The Research Society Board Ballot on a fully independent and arms-length basis. The Research Society National Office will be provided with aggregate voting results only and will not be informed of how individual members have voted.

All Full financial members with a valid email address will receive an email invitation to vote on Wednesday 3rd November 2020. Voting will be conducted online.

Voting closes at 5pm (ESDT) Tuesday 17th November 2020.
The result of the voting will be announced at the National AGM.

National AGM 2020
The National AGM 2020 will be held at 5:30pm on Wednesday 25th November 2020, venue to be confirmed, and via live online streaming.

Please click on the links below to download the relevant documentation for the National AGM.

Download the 2018-19 Annual Report

History of the Society

History of The Research Society

History of The Research Society

Provided by the late Mike Larbalestier, Past Chairman - Federal Council - Australian Market & Social Research Society.

Market Research generally had its origins in social survey research in the United Kingdom. Some people even like to pretend the Doomsday Book was the first bit of systematic research - it may have been the first census but it was not a sample survey. Social sample survey research came from the enquiring minds of the great English liberal social reformers who were horrified by the conditions in which many of their countrymen were living and used carefully compiled factual reports to drive home the situation to their compatriots. The classics in English social survey research were: Mayhew's "London Life and London Poor" (1851), Charles Booth's monumental 17 volume study of "Labour and Life of the People of London" (1886), Rowntree's "Poverty: A study of Town Life" (1901) and Arthur Bowley's "Livelihood and Poverty" (1912).

In the meantime mathematicians in Europe had been developing sampling theory (originally for genetic experiments, then for agricultural purposes, and finally for quality control purposes in factory production processes), and bright young Dr Hollerith had been developing punched card equipment for the US Bureau of the Census. Freud had stimulated a great deal of thought about psychological processes and in particular the learning processes, so by the early 1900s not only the theoretical concepts, but also the practical tools were at hand for the first generalised use of social survey techniques in the marketing area.

As is not unusual, it was the advertising profession that led the way, with Claude Hopkins publishing his book on "Scientific Advertising" in 1912, although it was another 13 years before Daniel Starch brought out his book on "Principles of Advertising" (1925). By the 1930's, the large consumer companies in both the UK and the USA were into market research in a reasonably big way. Media research was recognised in the UK with the establishment of the BBC Listener Research Department in 1936, the same year that public opinion polling became a distinct sub-branch with the formation of the Gallup Poll.

Australia was not, in fact, far behind. The first recorded consumer study was carried out by Rudi Simmatt of J Walter Thompson in 1929, who also organised a study of the automobile market in 1930. J Walter Thompson was the original training ground of Australian market research pioneers Sylvia Ashby and Bill McNair, the latter of whom initiated the first studies of the radio audience in Australia in 1934. Sylvia Ashby opened the first independent market research company in Australia in 1936, with the McNair Survey being registered in 1944. The Roy Morgan Research Centre was established in 1941 to carry out Gallup Polls.