ADIA > News > News and media > Media releases > ADIA Leadership Awards > JOINT WINNERS RECOGNISED FOR RESEARCH INDUSTRY


Oct 30 2023


The Australian Data and Insights Association (ADIA) is pleased to announce that the Jayne Van Souwe Research Industry Leadership Award for 2023 has been awarded to Yvonne Wallis, former owner and founder of Wallis Consulting Group and Rob McLachlan, former Chairman of Kantar Australia/NZ.

The judging panel, which comprised of the award’s inaugural winner Darren Pennay and 2021 winners Brian Fine and Martin O’Shannessy, along with ADIA Vice President Josephine Foti, unanimously agreed that both Wallis and McLachlan 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 Van Souwe 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.

Judge Martin O’Shannessy said: “The judging panel were delighted to be able to recognise the contributions of Yvonne and Rob; two impressive and talented leaders who have given so much to our industry over many years. They boosted the ADIA by recruiting talent to our Board and Executive and implementing their vision for a professional, effective industry voice for market and social research.

“They mentored me and nurtured me onto and through the Board – I would not have joined at all if not for the impressive, unselfish, civicminded influence of Rob, Yvonne and people like them.”

Accepting the award, Wallis said: “What an honour and privilege to receive this leadership award.  It’s particularly special to be co-awarded with Rob McLachlan.  He has been a mighty contributor to the industry with enormous dedication.

“After an early career in academia, it was exhilarating to put into practice the research skills I had learned and been teaching.  The opportunity to work with large clients on exciting projects that contributed significantly to management decisions was very rewarding.  Working with our industry association, amazing staff and industry colleagues has also been enriching and a great privilege.

“I admit also to enjoying the task from time to time of designing social events where industry colleagues could share their thoughts in a most convivial fashion. A heartfelt thanks to everyone.”

McLachlan said: “I am truly honoured to win the 2023 JVS Award jointly with the talented Yvonne Wallis. I have enjoyed over 36 wonderful years working in the market research Industry. I had a front row seat as market research evolved from clip boards and diaries to the digital age. The many people who have contributed to the market research Industry over the years are a special group. Thank you to judging panel and to ADIA.”

ADIA CEO, Sarah Campbell, said: Congratulations to this year’s deserving joint winners. The $3 billion research, data and insights industry in Australia today has been built on the activities and efforts of individuals like Jayne, Yvonne and Rob, who have dedicated significant time, energy and expertise on behalf of the research community.

For the past 30 years, ADIA has successfully promoted and protected the research industry in Australia, including obtaining Australia’s first and only industry privacy code and obtaining research industry exemption from the ‘Do Not Call’ Register. These protections and successes could only have been achieved with the voluntary efforts of people who care not only about their own business but about the entire industry.

As we continue to embrace new technology, digitization and automation, we must recognise the contributions that our industry leaders make in guiding our transformation and ensuring our continued impact.”

Bios of the award recipients

Yvonne Wallis: An industry leader, in 1991, she founded her own research company, Wallis Consulting Group, where she continued to consult large national organisations, specialising in advertising and social research. 

Yvonne was the first female President of AMRO (which became AMSRO and later ADIA) in 2003 & 2004 and from 2005-2006, she held the role of AMSRO Vice President and was Secretary of AMSRO until 2008. During her time as President and years thereafter in office, Yvonne worked tirelessly to help establish several industry initiatives, including a self-regulated operating environment that set up organisations for success today. 

After 25 years as Managing Director and Chairman of Wallis Consulting Group, Yvonne retired to follow her passion for Wine and Food. She became the first female Global Chair of the International Wine & Food Society, the longest-established gastronomic Society in the world. Concurrently she took on the role as Chair of the Asia Pacific Zone of IWFS, a role she held for eight years where she more than doubled membership and branch numbers.

Rob McLachlan: In his most recent day job, Rob McLachlan was a Director at TRA Australia, and before that Chairman of Kantar Australia/NZ. Prior to his chairman’s role, Rob was Chief Executive Officer of WPPAuNZ’s Data Investment Management Group, having worked at WPP AUNZ (previously the STW Group) for more than 12 years, in a range of senior finance and operations roles. Prior to joining the group, he was Finance Director at ACNielsen for 19 years, and CFO at AGB McNair.

Rob has been an integral part of AMRO/AMSRO/ADIA since the inception of AMRO in the early nineties. Rob held the role of AMSRO President from 1996 to 2000 and Treasurer from 2002 to 2018. He was also pivotal in making AMSRO professional, helping drive the appointment of Sarah Campbell as a full-time Executive Director to take the Association forward. Additionally, Rob was Chair of the Industrial Relations Committee and was pivotal in getting all the NUW/UWU Agreements to date across the line.

For more information, please contact:

Sarah Campbell 
0460 012 092 

Rochelle Burbury
Third Avenue Consulting
0408 774 577

About the Australian Data and Insights Association (ADIA)

The Australian Data and Insights Association (ADIA) is the peak industry body for data, insights and research organisations in Australia. ADIA (formerly AMSRO) represents close to 100 of Australia’s leading data, insights and research companies, with members employing over 5,000 people in an industry generating over $3 billion of economic activity annually.

ADIA members conduct research with Australians for most of the ASX top 200 companies and the majority of State and Federal Government departments. ADIA works in partnership with its company members, plus privacy authorities, business, government and the community to protect and promote the industry and uphold the highest ethical and privacy standards working under the first and only (non-mandatory) registered Industry APP Privacy Code since 2003. ADIA – the home of leading data, insights and research companies.