The members of our new advisory board come from a wide range of backgrounds. Over the next few weeks they will introduce themselves to you on this site, but in the meantime here's some brief descriptions of who they are and what they do...
Lawyer, producer, actress and mother of four, Tasmina believes Scotland has the talent to flourish as an independent country.
Tasmina joined Hamilton Burns WS, Solicitors in October 2005 and is now an owner of the firm. She works hard to provide access to the law to those from various communities who might not have previously thought there was help out there for them, particularly women.
Tasmina is also a producer for Elysee Productions International Limited, which is involved in the production of television programmes geared towards an Asian audience. Elysee Productions have an audience of approximately 3 billion and accordingly she is well recognised by the worldwide Asian audience. She is also an accomplished actress and has played leading roles in many major productions. In addition, Tasmina won the award for Scottish Asian Businesswoman of the Year at the Scottish Asian Business Awards 2010.
ELAINE C SMITH
Baillieston-born Elaine is Convener of the Scottish Independence Convention. She is an actress and comedienne, who has also turned her hand to writing a newspaper column. Although she is best known for her comedy work, she has appeared in numerous serious productions and recently played Susan Boyle in a musical of the singer's life.
Elaine was educated at Braidhurst High School in Motherwell, Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh, and trained at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama. In August 2007, she was appointed to the Scottish Broadcasting Commission, established by the Scottish Government.
Elaine is a supporter of numerous charities, including Zero Tolerance and Family Mediation. In 2009 her autobiography, "Nothing Like A Dame", was published.
Pat, from Glasgow, is a musician who found fame with the duo Hue and Cry with his younger brother Greg. Away from music, he writes regularly on culture and politics, was an activist for Scottish self-government in the late 1980s and 1990s and was instrumental in forming Artists For An Independent Scotland.
In 1990, he defeated the veteran Labour MP Tony Benn to become Rector of Glasgow University, a position he held at his alma mater for three years. He graduated MA in 1985 after studying English.
He is also an arts journalist presenting live discussion shows for Channel 4 and BBC2. He was a founding editor of the Sunday Herald in 1999.
A director of The Residence, Glasgow, and of Pilates Reformer Scotland Ltd, Sarah-Jane is a businesswoman, wife and mother of two young girls and has been in the fitness industry for more than 12 years. She is a Certified professional Personal Trainer and Weight Management Specialist. Sarah Jane's passion is in Pilates, mainly working with back pain clients, and Pre and Post Natal.
Dan is a Highlander and proud of it. Born on a nine-acre Sutherland croft and educated at Dornoch Academy, he is the Chief Executive of Edinburgh-based Macdonald Estates, a company he set up in 1998 and which made a pre-tax profit last year of £3.3 million, bucking the downward trend in the industry.
He set up the Scottish Property Federation six years ago and is a member of the SSPCA, which he calls ‘the best-run charitable organisation in Scotland’.
Motherwell-born Colin is the joint national spokesperson of the Scottish Socialist Party, and former MSP for Lothian in the Scottish Parliament.
He studied mathematics at Strathclyde University for a year before switching to Bell’s College, Hamilton, where he trained to be an accountant. He has just completed an Honours degree in Social Services with The Open University.
Nicola is Deputy First Minister of Scotland, SNP Deputy Leader and Cabinet Secretary for health, wellbeing and cities strategy. She became an MSP in the first elections to the Scottish Parliament in 1999.
She was born in Irvine, Ayrshire, educated at the town’s Greenwood Academy and graduated in law from Glasgow University. She worked as a solicitor in the city’s Drumchapel Law Centre before becoming an MSP.
Andrew, who is a Perth man, is patron of the eponymous Restaurant Andrew Fairlie, an independent business within the Gleneagles Hotel and Resort, near Auchterarder. It is the only Michelin two-star restaurant in Scotland and one of only 11 in the UK.
In 2002, Hotels Magazine voted his Gleneagles operation one of the world’s top ten hotel restaurants. That same year, he became the inaugural Scottish Chef of the Year. During the G8 summit in 2005 he cooked for the Queen and 44 of the world’s leaders. In 2006 he was AA Chef’s Chef of the Year.