Accessibility Skip to main content

The Judging Panel 2017

Burns Humanitarian Awards

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

Bill 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.

Heather Armstrong

Heather is the President of Societies and Citizenship for the Students' Association of the University of the West of Scotland, elected to represent UWS students on these matters.

Heather has experience of activism on the rights of students, women and disabled people and has herself won an award for work from the Students' Association prior to taking up her elected role. Heather still is an active volunteer with the National Union of Students in Scotland and Girlguiding Scotland.

Growing up in Ayr; Burns - the person and his work - has been part of Heather's life and she is honoured to be part of the judging panel and glad to see the inclusion of young people on the Judging Panel.

Jane Brown

Jane is a Past President of the Robert Burns World Federation and 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 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.

Habib Malik

Habib is a former winner of the Robert Burns Humanitarian Award (2010). He is a consultant for various international charities and Chairperson of Magical Smiles, a Scotland-based charity. He was previously 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 and 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.

Sean McGlashan

Sean is the National Trust of Scotland’s Curator of Collections at the Robert Burns Birthplace Museum in Alloway. He also has responsibility for Burns collections at Souter Johnnies Cottage in Kirkoswald and the Bachelor’s Club in Tarbolton.

With a strong educational background and work experience in art and museums, he has developed a love and admiration for the work of Burns over the years and is very proud to live and work in South Ayrshire.

John Murtagh

John is the veteran of countless films, working with such luminaries as Mel Gibson, Claire Bloom, Liam Neeson, Billy Connolly, John Hurt.

In the Theatre he has been Artistic Director of Borderline Theatre Company, Pavillion Theatre Glasgow where he is credited with discovering Mrs Brown! However the work he is proudest of has been in Community Theatre all over Scotland working with children, young people and recovering addicts and alcoholics and for the last 30 years John has performed and written plays based on the life of Robert Burns which were seen by audiences both sides of the Atlantic.

Kirsty Wark

Kirsty is one of Britain's most experienced television journalists. She has presented a wide range of programmes over the past thirty years — from the ground breaking Late Show to Election specials, live stadium events and, since 1993, the BBC's flagship nightly current affairs show Newsnight. She also hosted the weekly Arts and Cultural review and comment show, The Review Show (formerly Newsnight Review) for over a decade. She has conducted long form interviews with everyone from Margaret Thatcher to Madonna, Harold Pinter to Pete Doherty, Damian Hirst to George Clooney and the likes of Toni Morrison, Donna Tartt and Philip Roth.

Kirsty has made cameo appearances in a range of television dramas, radio programmes and films. She has featured in Dr Who, Absolutely Fabulous, The IT Crowd, Spooks, The Amazing Mrs Pritchard, The Acid House, Beyond the Pole, Party Animals, With Great Pleasure and The Politician’s Husband. She reached the final in Celebrity Masterchef in 2011 and hosted the culinary quiz A Question of Taste for BBC2.

Kirsty has won several major awards for her work including BAFTA Awards for Outstanding Contribution to Broadcasting, Journalist of the Year and Best Television Presenter. Kirsty was born in Dumfries and educated in Kilmarnock. She is married to Alan Clements and has two children. Her debut novel, The Legacy of Elizabeth Pringle, was published in March 2014 by Two Roads - an imprint of Hodder & Stoughton. She is currently writing her second novel.

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 resigned from the Trust in 2014 having transformed it from a tiny charity into the extraordinarily powerful force for good it is today. He has helped to make mine clearance an issue that is now taken seriously throughout the world.

He established Guy Willoughby Philanthropy in January 2015, providing independent philanthropic advice on humanitarian aid across a range of post-conflict countries, particularly Value for Money audit and evaluating measurable impact for the larger donors and philanthropists.

Rob Woodward

Rob 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. 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.

Was this page helpful?  Yes  No

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.

Weekly newsletter

Follow us