Ariane Burgess

I live and work in the Highlands. I’m originally from Edinburgh.

I am standing because too many decisions are made in Edinburgh that impact those of us who live rurally and on the islands but take little account of our communities’ views. I want to be a voice for our communities in the Scottish Parliament.

Climate scientists tell us that we have less than nine years to take action to reduce our carbon emissions. Our response to the pandemic has shown us that we can make changes rapidly. I want to ensure the transitions that take place in Scotland have communities at the centre and that people are supported with reskilling and training to make the change.

I work in Sustainable Community Development, where I support local people to design more sustainable means of living for themselves and their community. I know from experience that real change comes from the ground up. I’ve been involved in projects including locally-owned renewable energy, local investment, cohousing and car share schemes, among other sustainability-related initiatives. While these projects bring great benefit to communities, I am well aware of the challenges faced in realising them. I want to be in a position to help remove the blocks and push for proper investment.

I am a long-term campaigner with a particular focus on community empowerment, food security and resilience. As a Director of Transition Town Forres, a charity working towards a sustainable low-carbon lifestyle, I collaborated with NHS Grampian and several other third sector organisations to deliver a healthy eating programme.

I will be pushing for Universal Basic Income and for trials to start immediately as a way of ensuring we are all supported through this fragile time made worse by the pandemic. This kind of universal, unconditional financial support is needed right now for everyone to get back on their feet and not have to make a difficult choice about where to live.

Another major priority is connectivity, both transport and broadband. We need better bus and ferry connections and, where it makes sense, fixed links with that double for tidal energy generation. We need to treat broadband as a utility just like electricity and prioritise rural and island areas. Big promises have been made, but real investment has been too slow, and rural connectivity has moved down the agenda.

I want to be part of the team and to ensure that local voices are central to the decisions that affect us. I want to build a fairer, greener Scotland for people across our communities.

Anne Thomas

Anne Thomas is number two on the Holyrood Regional List and hoping for a chance to represent the Highlands and Islands. She is a passionate environmental activist who joined the Scottish Green Party in 2011. She was born in Bath but is actually half Scottish and has spent half her life in Scotland since 2006 on the Black Isle. She has stood in Council, European and Westminster and Holyrood elections, which involved many hustings and much canvassing and also writes on various topics. She is a part time Speech and Language Therapist working with children with additional support needs in the Nairn area and member of Unite.

Anne is a Director of environmental group, Transition Black Isle, Secretary of Highland Cycle Campaign, Chair of the Residents Association of North Kessock and local contact for Friends of the Earth and organises a vitamin D campaign group. She has organised demonstrations, public meetings and run numerous stalls, for both Green Party and other Environmental Groups. She campaigned to remain in the EU referendum. She supports an Independent Scotland as the best way of protecting people and planet. She's tried to make her house as low carbon as possible with renewable energy, bee-keeping and lots of food growing. She is married with three children and two grandchildren who call her 'Greeny Granny'.

Fabio Villani

Since moving to Scotland in 1982, I have worked for true sustainability and for the radical transformation our society needs.
I set up my first business, cabinet-making and furniture restoration, in 1983, when my interest was as much in the social and environmental impacts of my work as in its financial viability.
Shortly after spearheading the formation of a local Community Woodlands Trust, and leading it in buying back former Common Good land for community benefit in 1999, I discovered the joys of facilitation. This led me to starting a second business, specialising in facilitation and community development, and to a number of exciting roles.
As an active citizen, I have volunteered on a range of Boards and committees, and played leading roles in the formation and development of highly successful community-led organisations like a Transition Town group and a Community Development Trust.
I have worked for a small Moray charity since 2013, where I am a member of the Leadership Team.

As a non-native English speaker, I am particularly proud of my published work, having successfully completed commissions for case studies on Social Land Ownership (The Not-for-Profit Landowners Project Group – 2001) and on Community Involvement in Private Woodlands (Forestry Commission Scotland – 2005).

Steve Sankey

Steve has lived on South Ronaldsay in Orkney for 18 years with his wife Sarah and son Sami, after re-locating from Edinburgh to start a family and begin two small businesses: Gerraquoy Organic Farm and Orcadian Wildlife. In May 2017 he was elected to Orkney Islands Council, and was the first mainstream political party candidate ever to be elected there – all other 20 Councillors are Independent. Steve now sits on over 20 committees, and for example is Vice-Chairman of the Orkney Health and Care Committee, and a voting member of the Integration Joint Board. Successes to date with the help of Parliamentary colleagues have included winning an extra £5.5 million for fair-ferry funding for Orkney; persuading OIC to adopt the UN Principles of Responsible Investment for its Pension Fund; and succeeding in the appointment of a Climate Change Officer within Orkney Islands Council.

Steve was also instrumental in the declaration of a Climate Change Emergency by Orkney Islands Council in May 2019, and is looking forward to being closely involved in agreeing exactly what detailed carbon-reduction actions this might generate in the immediate future.

Debra Nicolson

I’m Debra Nicolson and I am standing as a list candidate for the Highlands and Islands region. I have been an active member of the Scottish Green party for the last three years. In 2019 I stood in the Shetland by-election. I have lived in Shetland now for half my life and it is very dear to my heart. I love nature and wildlife and have two adorable female black cats and a few pet chickens.

I am very proud to be able to represent Shetland and the Highlands and Islands in the forthcoming election.

Sand Owsnett

I’ve lived in Caithness for 17 years and work in the nuclear decommissioning industry. I joined the party in 2014, when I also campaigned for an independent Scotland.

A Scottish Green New Deal and Just Transition are very important to an area where the nuclear industry is one of the biggest employers and contributors to the economy. The diversification and transferability of skills and expertise from nuclear to low carbon industries / renewables etc., can and will play a major role in a just transition for the area, and the Scottish Green Party need to support the area in the run up to and during this time.

For 25+ years I’ve been a Trade Union member and rep. I’m the Chair of my workplace branch, and on my union’s Energy Sector Executive Committee.

I stood for election in the council elections in May 2017. I’ve been on the Thurso Community Council and currently a Trustee of the Thurso Community Development Trust.

I’m a proud member of the LGBT+ community, and on the Highland Pride (formerly Proud Ness) committee.

I believe in a fair, equal and just society for everyone, which should be fundamental in any civilised progressive society.

Topher Dawson

Hi, I'm Topher Dawson, list candidate for the Scottish Greens in the Holyrood elec-tion on the 6th of May. I'm supporting our excellent lead candidates Ariane Burgess and Anne Thomas.

After a career as a boatbuilder, Westerbus driver and maths teacher I'm retired and busier than ever.  As chair of Lochbroom CC and a member of the Ullapool Harbour Trust, I am working on the Shore St widening, Promenade and Inner Harbour development.

For the last 10 years I’ve been involved in the community sport of coastal rowing which is very popular in the Highlands and spreading internationally.

I'm keen to see more power and funds devolved to Community Councils and local initiatives across our huge rural ward, the largest in the UK. Highland Council con-trols an area the size of Belgium; our affairs cannot be micro managed from Inverness.

Lisa Mead

My name is Lisa Mead and I live in Moray. My first career was as a commercial law solicitor and I then went on to study eco-building and renewable energy systems. Since then I have had various roles in green enterprises, education and conservation and also volunteer roles in the charitable sector. I am standing as a Green Party candidate because I believe that only the Scottish Greens have a true grasp of the systemic changes that are needed to tackle the enormous challenges of our time - avoiding catastrophic climate change and tackling massive biodiversity loss and species extinctions.

Chris Ballance

Chris Ballance lives in Drumnadrochit with his wife and two children. He works part-time as a social researcher. He has been a member of the Greens since 1980, and was Green MSP for South Region in 2003-7. In his spare time he is a keen gardener and is currently co-convenor of the Highlands and Islands branch.

Isabella Sumsion

I am a student living in Glasgow but originally from Cairndow on Loch Fyne, so I have a first-hand understanding of the most important issues that we must address in both urban and rural contexts. My degree has been specialised in Marine and Freshwater Biology, so environmental issues, especially the conflict between marine conservation and Scotland's fishing and aquaculture industry. As a young woman, I am passionate about improving political representation for all groups of society, and I believe that the Scottish Greens are the party that will achieve positive environmental and social change in the next few post-pandemic years for Scotland's future generations.

Phyl Meyer

Phyl is a senior manager in a national Disabled Peoples' Organisation, having worked in the field of removing barriers which cause marginalisation for over 15 years, now operating at exec level on strategy, lobbying and practice development. Phyl has played an active role in community engagement and support via Community Councils and voluntary roles, and has a particular interest in community ownership of housing and renewable energy, and supporting local engagement and decision making. Phyl lives on the Isle of Tiree where he is part of the Gaelic learning community along with his two children.

Luna Martin

My name is Luna, I’m 23 and currently studying towards my degree in politics and philosophy. I live in Oban and have worked with many charities and organisations which have given me a unique understanding of the area’s needs.

I am committed to ensuring our beautiful corner of the world is a fair, safe and climate conscious place for all. We must protect our diverse wildlife and their habitats from industrialisation and commerce as our unique ecosystems are crucial in our fight against climate change.