Accessibility Skip to main content

The Judging Panel 2016

Burns Humanitarian Awards
The Herald
Burns Night

Judging the Robert Burns Humanitarian Award is an esteemed group of people, from all walks of life, and with a broad range of experience in humanitarian work, business, charity and knowledge of the works of Robert Burns.

Councillor Bill McIntosh – Chair of the Panel

Councillor Bill McIntosh was first elected as a Councillor for the Troon ward in May 1999 following a successful career in the banking industry.

In 1998, he took early retirement in order to set up his own business – McIntosh Management – which provided business advice for small and medium sized enterprises. He has been active in his local community for a number of years as a member of the Troon Business Association and, prior to his election to South Ayrshire Council in 1999, as a Troon community councillor.

Councillor McIntosh was previously the Council’s Portfolio Holder for Resource and Performance where he played a major part in shaping the Council’s improvement agenda and strategic planning processes. He was elected Leader of the Council in February 2010.

Jane Brown

Jane Brown is Immediate Past President of the Robert Burns World Federation and, for the past 16 years, has been employed as the manageress and host of the famous Globe Inn, established 1610, which was a favourite haunt of Robert Burns.

Jane is also President of The Southern Scottish Counties Burns Association, Past President of the Dumfries Ladies Burns Club No. 1, and one of only two lady Honorary Members of The Burns Howff Club – an all male club. She is also an Honorary Member of Fauldhouse and Crofthead Burns Club and an Honorary Cronie and Honorary Patron of the Medicine Hat Burns Club, Canada.

Jane’s love of Burns has afforded her the privilege of speaking all over the world in Russia, America, Australia, Canada, Norway, Northern Ireland and all over Great Britain.

John Cairney

John Cairney is a renowned actor, writer, painter and author. Robert Burns has played a pivotal role in his life since 1959 when he was first asked to play the Bard in a BBC sketch.

John’s acclaimed performance as Burns in Tom Wright’s play ‘There Was A Man’ in 1965 led to many years of playing the Bard. In 1975, his company Shanter Productions organised the first Burns Festival in Ayr, which it ran with Kyle and Carrick District Council until 1979. He also took his solo show ‘The Robert Burns Story’ around the world between 1974 and 1981.

John toured ‘A Burns Experience’ world-wide until 1985. Shanter Productions also presented the first full-length Burns Musical ‘Scot Free’ in 1986 – it was re-worked as ‘There Was A Lad’ during Glasgow’s Year of Culture in 1990 and as ‘Red, Red Rose’ in 2009.

John trained as a classical actor and singer at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama and has a long list of theatre, television, film and writing credits to his name. He has written several books about Robert Burns and is now also widely regarded as a painter.

John L Duncan QPM

John is a native of Buckie, Banffshire, where he was educated and spent his early working life, but has lived in Ayrshire since 1978.

From 1959 to 2001, he served in Renfrew and Bute Constabulary and Strathclyde Police in all ranks from Cadet to Deputy Chief Constable. During his police career, he served at senior rank in North, South and East Ayrshire.

In December 2001, he was appointed a Deputy Lieutenant for the Lieutenancy of Ayrshire and Arran before being appointed Lord Lieutenant in 2006.

A former Chairman of Ayr United, he remains a keen supporter. He is an elder in St Columba’s Church, Stewarton and a Rotarian, having joined the Irvine Club in 1984 and currently a member of Govan.

Heather Dunk

Heather is Principal of Ayrshire College and was previously Principal of Kilmarnock College for five years.

She is a board member of the Community Planning Partnerships (East, North and South) in Ayrshire and a member of the Ayrshire Economic Partnership Board. She has held high profile roles in education and is a member of the Access and Inclusion Committee of the Scottish Funding Council.

Heather has also held a number of key roles in the private sector including Director of Research and Education for an educational software company.

David Hopes

David is currently Director of Robert Burns Birthplace Museum (RBBM). He holds a Master’s degree in Museum Studies from the University of Leicester and was briefly a Research Associate there with the Research Centre for Museums and Galleries. Previous to this he was a Research Fellow jointly appointed by the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust and the Shakespeare Institute, University of Birmingham, investigating the use of digitised cultural collections in virtual learning environments.

David has worked for over a decade as a curator on a number of high-profile museum projects, many of which have a link to Robert Burns. Projects include the initiative to build RBBM, the creation of the Museum of the University of St Andrews (MUSA), the Museum Galleries Scotland-funded Distributed National Burns Collections Project, and the Open Museum’s Greater Pollok Kist project, which established the first community-run museum in the UK.

His research interests include the social and learning impacts of museums, and the influence of digital technologies on forms of engagement with cultural artefacts.

David Leask

David is a newspaper reporter, and currently chief reporter at The Herald. David also works for The Sunday Herald and Glasgow’s local paper, The Evening Times.

Over the years he has done a variety of jobs at The Herald & Times, publishers of all three titles, as well as Aberdeen’s Evening Express, and the Edinburgh-based Scotsman and Scotland on Sunday.

Habib Malik

Habib is a former winner of the Robert Burns Humanitarian Award (2010). He is Scotland Manager of the Disasters Emergency Committee within Islamic Relief, an international charity that aims to alleviate the suffering of the world’s poorest people.

Habib’s work has taken him all over the world, to many tragic and desperate scenes that require the care, commitment and compassion of people to help victims and their families. He is renowned for responding practically and emotionally to world disasters – he saw firsthand the devastation caused following the 2004 tsunami in south-east Asia, he has visited the destruction caused by bombings in Gaza and Lebanon, and the earthquake sites in Kashmir and Iran. He has instigated the raising of many thousands of pounds for disaster funds and appeals.

Born in Pakistan, Habib came to Scotland at the age of 18 where he graduated with a masters degree in Chemistry. He received the Scottish Asian Business ‘Community Award’ in 2011, and a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Scottish Young Muslims in 2008.

Guy Willoughby

Guy is a former winner of the Robert Burns Humanitarian Award (2009). He founded The Halo Trust – a charity which specialises in the removal of war debris – in 1988 at the age of 28. Today, the Trust is the world’s oldest and largest humanitarian landmine clearance organisation and has destroyed more than 1.4 million landmines and 52 million bullets.

Guy, a former Coldstream Guard, continues to have a hands-on role in the charity as its Chief Executive. The charity, which has its global headquarters in Dumfriesshire, now has 8,000 staff working worldwide and, over the past 24 years, has destroyed more than 1.4 million landmines and 52 million bullets.

Guy resigned from the Trust in 2014 having transformed it from a tiny charity into the extraordinarily powerful force for good it is today, with more than 7,000 Halo staff now working in 17 countries and territories. He has helped to make mine clearance an issue that is now taken seriously throughout the world.

Rob Woodward

Rob Woodward is Chief Executive of STV and regarded as having led a turnaround for STV Group PLC. A trustee of the STV Appeal charity, Rob is a graduate of Durham and Edinburgh universities and has held many notable and highly respected senior posts within the media and business.

Prior to joining STV Rob was Commercial Director of Channel 4 Television, initially joining them in 2001 as Managing Director of 4Ventures where he achieved a dramatic turnaround of legacy businesses and built a set of successful new media and digital businesses.

Prior to joining STV Rob was Commercial Director of Channel 4 Television, initially joining them in 2001 as Managing Director of 4Ventures where he achieved a dramatic turnaround of legacy businesses and built a set of successful new media and digital businesses. Before this he was Managing Director of UBS Corporate Finance; Managing Partner of Braxton UK, the strategy consulting practice of Deloitte; and led Deloitte Consulting’s European TMT group.

Since February 2012 Rob has chaired the University Council of the City University London, where he is Pro-Chancellor. He has been a member of the University Council since 2006 and was Deputy Pro-Chancellor from 2009. Rob is also a Council Member of the National Youth Theatre and a Trustee of the National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts (NESTA). He also sits on the Advisory Board of Criticaleye, an organisation that enables a network of leaders across industry sectors to resolve business issues through debate and discussion.

Thank you for your feedback!

We're sorry about that. Why wasn't it helpful?
No response is given so please do not include contact information.

Last updated: 25 February 2016

Weekly newsletter

Follow us