August 4, 2020

Announcing Our August Judging Panel!


We are delighted to announce our three inspirational judges for this competition quarter. Alex Reedijk, Lucy Brown and Laura Westring are bringing their expertise from the worlds of music, art and literature to our judging panel, this month – we cannot wait to see what gems they will uncover!


The judging panel will meet virtually to deliberate and select one winner from the hundreds of entries that have been submitted between 1st May and 31st July 2020. Their shortlist and the quarterly winner of £500 will be announced in the next few weeks – so keep your eyes peeled!

Laura Westring – Writer & Leadership Communications Consultant


Laura Westring is a writer and leadership communications consultant who leads Public Affairs at Amiqus, a tech for good company. During her EU career her work to help young women gain positive leadership skills was recognised by Barack Obama when the White House requested that she introduce the President’s Address to European Youth during his 2014 visit to Brussels. Laura’s speech made headlines and later that year she became the youngest political speechwriter at the European Commission. Ronald de Bruin included a chapter about her impact in his book Twenty-First Century Leadership for EU Institutions. After the EU membership referendum in 2016, Laura returned to Scotland to work with profit for purpose companies. She believes trends in speech making are an important indication of the health of our democracy and occasionally provides news commentary. Laura is currently working on a number of writing, teaching and broadcasting projects at various stages of development. Laura joined the board of trustees of The John Byrne Award in July.

Lucy Brown – Head of Sotheby’s in Scotland


Lucy Brown is the Head of Sotheby’s in Scotland. Based in Edinburgh and working from both Scotland and London, Lucy manages Sotheby’s client relationships and is actively involved in a putting together the auction house’s yearly dedicated Scottish Art sale. She works with both collectors and museums, helping to provide appraisals and expertise along with facilitating access to Sotheby’s global services for the local art and luxury community.

Alex Reedijk – General Director, Scottish Opera


Alex Reedijk joined Scottish Opera as General Director in February 2006, following four years at the helm of The NBR New Zealand Opera.  Prior to that he was Executive Director of the New Zealand International Festival of the Arts.

Having worked for many opera companies and festivals across the world, including Scottish Opera, Wexford Festival Opera and the original Garsington Opera, he became New Zealand Festival’s Deputy Executive Director with particular responsibility for the Edinburgh Military Tattoo, which made its first highly successful visit out of Edinburgh to Wellington in 2000.

Over his 14 years at Scottish Opera the company has flourished, bringing opera performances to over 50 communities across Scotland every year.  There has also been an array of new initiatives for young people including a thriving Emerging Artist programme for young singers, repetiteurs, directors, costume trainee and producers.  With a particular emphasis on, and for, people living with Dementia, Scottish Opera premiered the world’s first Dementia-Friendly opera performances in 2016.  Alex has also worked closely in partnership with Music Director Stuart Stratford to sustain and develop a very strong commitment to both 20th century opera and new commissions.

In November 2011, Alex was awarded a Fellowship of the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.  Alex is currently Vice-Chairman of the Citizens Theatre, and Chairman of the Beacon Arts Centre in Greenock.