James Smith, President of ICON Awards

James and his husband made history with being the first same sex couple to be approved for adoption and placed with a child in Scotland, which has lead him on to supporting local authorities, agencies, charities, individuals with LGBT+ adoption.

He is a successful entrepreneur overseeing his business interests across Scotland, he’s an Ambassador for charities, companies and also manages a charity that he founded. James started LGBT+ support groups within schools as he felt that the youth can be forgotten about, that’s why this year he has added ‘Youth Icon of the year’ to the categories so we can reward the work that our youth do in our communities. James also is the first radio presenter at Scene Radio – Scotland’s only LGBT+ radio station where he supports the community through music and interviews.

James told us: “I am very proud to accept the role of President for the ICON Awards, Scotland’s largest LGBT+ & Diversity award ceremony. ICON has always meant a great deal to me and being the only original board member shows the commitment I have for the event. As President of the ICON awards, I plan to bring the event back to the LGBT+ community and celebrate what we have all achieved. I believe my infectious enthusiasm for ICON will make 2018 the best yet. By going back to our roots I firmly believe we will get great support from the community who helped build this tremendous event”


Thomas Anderson

Thomas is the founder of Inclusive Networks – an organisation that celebrates and promotes diversity and inclusion all over the UK via their award-winning website, social media accounts, reward and recognition initiatives and innovative events.

In 2017 Inclusive Networks won two awards at the Business Innovator Awards – ‘Best Workplace Inclusion Network’ and ‘Innovation Award for Networking Events’. Thomas, who lives in Edinburgh, is the former Chair of The Co-op’s award-winning LGBT staff network ‘Respect’. During his tenure the organisation become the No1 Private Sector employer for LGBT people in the UK and the most followed and active employee network group in Europe.

He was also a driving force behind the launch of the UK’s first Inter-Retail LGBT+ network ‘CheckOUT’. He contributed to the Stonewall Workplace Equality Index 5 Year review and has shared his experience at various workplace conferences and staff network events around the UK and Europe – including Adidas (Germany), Stonewall (Cardiff) and PwC (Manchester). In recognition of his work in the diversity field he was shortlisted for ‘Diversity Champion of the Year’ at the European Diversity Awards.


Justine Smithies

Justine is a Trans rights campaigner, Wife, Mother & Grand Mother. She is employed as a marine electronics engineer. Justine is a keynote speaker for Stonewall Scotland 2015 also for Centrica, University Of Sunderland, Clydesdale Bank, Tesco Bank, Pinsent Masons, Alford Academy, Isle Of Wight’s first ever Pride, West Lothian’s Pride event too. She has also starred in the BBC Scotland documentary “Transgender Love” & The South Korean TV company SBS. Justine was also shortlisted for the National Diversity Awards 2016 for Positive Role Model and was voted 93rd on the Diva Magazine Power List 2017.

Justine also has written for various publications Pink Saltire, YWCA Scotland, The Glass Closet, GTenMedia & runs a support group in Aberdeen called Grampian T Folk for the trans community.


Prof. Craig White

Professor Craig White has held several clinical, academic and leadership roles across Scotland’s public services. He currently works for the Scottish Government as part of the senior clinical leadership team advising Scottish Ministers on quality improvement in health and social care. He is Honorary Professor in the College of Medical, Veterinary and Life Sciences at the University of Glasgow and Visiting Professor of Mental Health at Edinburgh Napier University.

Craig is a member of the Scottish Government’s LGBTI Network and sits on the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Group.  He was the first University of Glasgow Professor to marry a same sex partner in the University Chapel in 2017.

He has a reputation for effectively supporting the challenge of ineffective systems and processes, ensuring that improvements reflect what matters most to people using and working in services.

Commenting on his appointment to the Board, Professor White stated; “I am delighted to be joining the Board of the ICON Awards. As a gay man living and working in Scotland I recognise the progress that has been made through the work of previous ICON award winners on diversity and inclusion.  It is essential that we recognise people who go out of their way to make a difference – we also need to ensure that through constructive challenge, review and collaboration  we must always identify ways of learning and making improvements in our approach to this work”.


Stephen Murphy

Stephen is a Glaswegian born and bred, and very proud of his city. He is a Personal Development Worker within a Scottish charity that supports adults with challenging needs, and also volunteers and supports adults with learning difficulties. Stephen is successful in business with his domestic services company around the city of Glasgow.

Stephen is best known in the LGBTI+ Community as ‘Barbara La Bush’ one of Scotland’s oldest and long established Drag Queens. He has entertained all over Scotland and Europe and performed in Glasgow and Edinburgh Pride events over the years, and now been invited to perform at the very first Bute Pride. He has performed in most of the LGBTI+ bars in Glasgow and Edinburgh and still has close affiliation with club AXM as a performer. He works most weekends on the Scottish cabaret circuit performing his own brand of Drag in bars and clubs, also host shows for the very talented Sassy Boys a male review show.

Stephen said “I will be a fair and respectful member of the ICON Awards Board bringing my years of experience of working and being part of the LGBTI+ community in Scotland”


Jax Quinn

Jax is on a crusade to transform workplace culture. A proud lesbian and disability campaigner, she brings a wealth of strategic, innovative and future thinking to this year’s Icon Awards Board. Jax has carved a career in Learning and Development and People Experience – shaping skills and challenging mindsets to inspire organisations to build better and more inclusive places to work.

As LGBT+ network leader for Sky UK and managing employee experience across the company, Jax has pioneered dedicated development and mentor programmes for LGBT+ employees, leaders and allies.Her restlessness to deliver equality and inclusion has resulted in Sky becoming Stonewall’s number one media company for inclusion.

Jax’s passion to shine a light on talent and empower those without a voice has mobilised grass root engagement at Pride events. She’s facilitated IDAHO roadshows, partnered fundraising with Terrence Higgins Trust and encouraged thousands to wear rainbow laces to ‘kick homophobia out of sport.’ Driven by her own experiences of sexual orientation discrimination and living with a disability, Jax believes in the power of the role modelling the world you wish to see. Her vision is powered by fighting for the big wins and marginal gains in the quest to achieve true equality for all.


Bailie Russell Robertson

Russell is the Glasgow City Councillor for East Centre, also he is the Deputy Convener for Communities. He loves this role as it enables him to act as a conduit on behalf of the council to bring together all partner agencies working together to deliver a healthier, wealthier Glasgow. He was also promoted to chair of Glasgow Community Planning Partnership Strategic Board. In this role he is expected to work with all internal and external partners of the council to deliver the Glasgow Community Plan.

Russell was thrilled to be appointed Bailie by the Lord Provost of Glasgow, this is a civic role which he was called on, on many occasions to represent the Lord Provost of Glasgow at the various civic events being held throughout the city of Glasgow. To represent your City at these prestigious events is the greatest honour imaginable.

“It is a great honour to be asked to join the Icon Board as they are true champions the LGBTI community by promoting diversity, inclusion and challenging all forms of inequalities in Scotland. Through my role as an elected member I hope to promote the work that Icon do throughout all key partner agencies who have a similar interest in promoting social justice and tackling inequalities”.


Nominations will open on Monday 7th May 2018

Businesses/individuals can be nominated by themselves or others.

Once anyone receives a nomination, an information form will be sent to the nominated person/business for them to approve and pursue the nomination.

Nominations will close on Monday 2nd July 2018 and all information should be received by this date to allow it to be compiled and sent to our judges.

Finalists will be announced by Friday 6th July 2018.

Winners will then be announced at the Gala Final which takes place in the Marriott Hotel, Glasgow on Saturday 15th September 2018.

Terms & Conditions

  1. Businesses/individuals can only compete in a maximum of 2 categories and if nominated in more than this must choose their preference
  2. Finalists must have representation at the Gala Final
  3. Dates for submission information (as above) must be adhered to

The judges decisions are final