Obituary of David Theodore Bottomley AM (OW1941)

25/12/1924 - 23/08/2022

David Bottomley

Dr David Theodore Bottomley AM (OW1941) started one of the first market research consultancies in Australia and convened the first meeting of what later became the country's national research association (now known as The Research Society).

David was born in Somerset, UK, and died at his retirement home in Doncaster. At the age of one he was, in his own words, 'exported to Australia' with his parents and three older brothers, his father having a three-year contract as minister to the Melbourne Unitarian Church.

David attended Wesley from 1933 to 1941, then the University of Melbourne, graduating with a BSc in Chemistry, Physics and Mathematics and before completing a Dip Ed. He became a science teacher at Albury Grammar School, where he completed his BEd, but decided to leave the profession and in 1953, established Australian Sales and Service Bureau, later to become Australian Sales Research Bureau (ASRB) with Irving Saulwick, David Jones and Nan Lansell. In 1955, he convened a meeting in Melbourne to form the Victorian Market Research Society, which soon became national, and has since been variously known as the Market Research Society of Australia (MRSA), the Australian Market and Social Research Society (AMSRS), and most recently The Research Society (TRS).

David left ASRB and Australia in 1986 for Hong Kong, forming Asia Market Research Directions, which was the pollster for the South China Morning Post, among many other clients. He returned to Australia in 2011.

In 2016, David was appointed a Member (AM) in the General Division of the Order of Australia, in the Queen's Birthday awards, ‘For significant service to business, particularly to the social and market research profession, and as a mentor to young researchers,’ and in 2019, at the age of 94, he became Australia's oldest recorded PhD graduate on completion of his thesis for Curtin University.

Responsible for 'the training, development and mentoring of countless numbers of individuals who have entered our profession' (TRS) he was awarded the Fellowship of what was then the MRSA in 1978. Married to his wife Anne for 71 years, he is survived by four children, thirteen grandchildren and one great grandchild.

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