This month sees a major influx of new committee members, and a sad farewell to many longstanding ones. Fiona Jack and Lucy Golding were reelected, and we welcome Caroline Dunlop, Elaine Francis, Andy Jameson, Peter Lovett, Caroline Whitehill and Catherine Woolcott.

The list of those leaving includes myself, Monika Bhaduri, Philly Desai, Joanna Hill, Tim Porter and Anne Ward. I'm sure that I speak for the others in saying that we will miss the camaraderie and energy, but will appreciate the rest!

AQR entered 2002/2003 intending to extend the breadth and depth of its activities ­ and it has. The committee invested a lot of time and energy this year, so I apologise in advance ­ due to lack of space ­ for highlighting just a few key areas.

A recurring industry theme is how to how to make communication between client, researcher and consumer more meaningful. We've contributed to this debate by initiating a programme of Round Table discussions involving researchers, clients and others, focusing on the role of qualitative research and the industry's future.

The past year has also seen the relationship between ourselves and AURA (Association of Users of Research Agencies) develop via jointly convened debates (Research 2002 and AURA quarterly meeting).

As requested by members, we have provided more networking opportunities this year. These included more New Researcher events as well as a Northern meeting and the Summer party.

We've seen two particularly exciting new initiatives: First, the launch of an online glossary (with a key paper Archive and cross-links to other useful/related sites areas such as Creativity/Management Science/Psychology to follow).

The second is the launch issue of In Depth, whose aim is to cover specific topics/issues in greater detail than would be possible via other media. Both reflect AQR's belief that qualitative research and its practitioners want and require an intellectual framework in which to operate.

The second joint international AQR/QRCA qualitative conference in Lisbon was also a success. It was attended by researchers from 16 different countries and was universally applauded as being both stimulating and enjoyable (Campbell Keegan's Sheila Keegan won best paper).

A significant number of membership benefits were introduced this year, including AQR draft Terms & Conditions guidelines which can be used as a template by anyone looking for help in this area, and a new online job service. Other benefits are detailed elsewhere on this page.

I finally need to thank all of the committee for their hard work this year and, as ever, especially Rose and Angela without whom ­ I suspect ­ AQR would cease to function!