Alongside the automotive finalists for WCSA 2020 are, of course, the people who will judge them.
And, as usual, we’ve moved out of the inner circle of automotive regulars to give the judging process a breath of consumer-savvy fresh air in the form of our eleven-strong team of opinion leaders from across the spectrum.
Headed by WhichCar network director Glenn Butler and ably anchored by renowned automotive designer Paul Beranger, our 2020 judging team comes to WCSA with an intriguing balance of forward vision, a firm grasp of the new, a desire for beautiful practicality and a slate that’s clean of all preconceptions.
So, what are they looking for, exactly?
A former editor of Wheels magazine, Glenn has worked within the automotive industry itself, which gives him valuable insight into just why style decisions make the cut or miss out completely.
“People might talk about buying a car because it has great fuel economy or the latest safety stuff, but they really think ‘how will I look in this car, and how will it look in my driveway?’” argues Glenn. “The industry spends untold billions on style and design, and we’re here to recognise that.”
The process is simple. Our judges are given a set of briefing notes on each of the cars that include prices and basic specs, but they don’t need to get bogged down in the minutiae of gearbox ratios or swept cylinder volumes.
Finding the country’s most clever and stylish car doesn’t require a degree in automotive engineering, but it does need a firm grasp on what modern consumers are looking for to improve their lives through the cars that they choose.
We’d like to thank our team for their hard work over the course of the 2020 event, and we reckon you’ll find their insights both fascinating and interesting.
Founder and designer, The 5th Watches
Alex is the founder and owner of The 5th Watches, a brand which now sells three million watches globally each year.
Alex is involved in the designing and style of each and every watch released through The 5th, and his fledgling company is set to blow up the staid, traditional watch market by releasing the first Swiss-made watch to be ever sold directly to the consumer.
Brand ambassador and content consultant, Cue/Veronika Maine and Dion Lee
Beth is an integral part of one of the most respected fashion families in Australia. Her husband, Justin Levis, is the executive director of long-running fashion house Cue, which her father-in-law established.
Her role inside the fashion brands sees the mother of four conceptualise and produce fashion content, and she previously served as the retail marketing manager.
As well as being a busy mum, Beth is swiftly rising as a digital fashion influencer, and her love of cars stems, interestingly, from a motorsport background within her family!
Founder and creative director, Hunting for George
A designer turned acclaimed leader in eCommerce turned raconteur, Lucy is a well-known and trusted authority within the home and design industry. Her website, Hunting for George, was established in 2010 and is a go-to source of inspiration for home, design and lifestyle.
The Hunting for George brand is aspirational and trusted by many, with a loyal following and a highly engaged community that reaches over 1.5 million people every week.
Owner and director, WHITEFOX Real Estate
Founding what is arguably Australia’s most innovative real estate agency, WHITEFOX Real Estate, Marty has worked hard to tear up the landscape of the industry and reinvent what can be done.
Having personally renovated and flipped close to 10 houses, he prides himself on understanding style and luxury in the real estate world, specialising in luxury and unique premium homes. He is also a big fan of performance cars, with a Porsche 911 taking pride of place in the Fox fleet.
Founder and editor of Rogue Homme, stylist and singer
Arrnott first came to prominence as a finalist on Channel Seven's Popstars singing series, and he has since carved out a niche for himself as a highly sought-after house music vocalist opening for the likes of Boy George, Basement Jaxx and Roger Sanchez.
He's an accomplished stylist who has worked with some of Australia's favourite actors, sports stars, singers and presenters, styled music videos and is a contributing stylist to Men's Health magazine.
His skills as a content creator have also seen him photograph and creative direct video content with brands like Jo Malone London, IKEA, Intercontinental Hotels, Fuji Film and American Express.
Editor, NW, OK! and Woman’s Day
If any of our judges are going to know the ins-and-outs of everyday lives of Australian women and how their car might play into that, it’s Fiona Connolly. This busy editor-in-chief of Australia’s three biggest weekly magazines has forged an amazing career in media working in magazines and newspapers.
Speaking to some 2.9 million Australian women each month, Connolly is across everything that women want – from life at home and at work to entertainment, culture, lifestyle and all the way through to providing the stories to not only inspire but act as talking points.
From this viewpoint - and as a mother herself - Connolly brings a unique perspective on form versus real-world function to our judging panel.
Editor, Australian House & Garden
As the editor of Australian House & Garden, Australia’s most well-regarded and best-loved home styling magazines, Tanya is an authority on interior design, art and architecture, in Australia and around the globe.
In her professional life, she gets to peek inside other some of the world’s most beautiful homes (and garages, it would seem) to survey what defines luxury on an international scale.
As one of our longest-serving judges, Tanya is also well-versed on the WhichCar Style Award criteria.
Editor, Inside Out Magazine
Eliza joins the WCSA judging group as the editor of iconic Australian design magazine Inside Out, after being the associate editor of Harper’s Bazaar for three years.
She has nearly 30 years’ experience in the media and publishing industry, starting her career at ACP magazines before working as a journalist and editor in both Australia and London.
Her car chops don’t come much better, either, with her first job in the industry involving mailing out stickers to Street Machine readers and chipping on on Wheels magazine. Her dad even owned a car dealership!
Former manager of design and development, Toyota Australia
With more than 40 years of experience under his belt, Paul is a very valuable judge to have on the WhichCar panel. He has led a distinguished career as one of Australia’s leading automotive designers, after first cutting his teeth at Holden in 1968, before moving to Nissan and Toyota after that.
Since putting down the pen, Beranger consults for the industry, is a published author and is an often called-upon expert on design in an ever-changing space.
His passion for design, appetite for all things new, calm insight and vast automotive knowledge also makes him the perfect font of automotive knowledge for our judges to tap into.
TV motorsport reporter and WhichCar TV presenter
Emma is a fast car lover, motorsport enthusiast and pit reporter who is a familiar sight to Australian racing fans, hosting the TV coverage for the Australian Superbikes championship, covering the prestigious Shannon’s Nationals series from the pit lane and reporting on other motoring events like Formula 1 at tracks around the world
Emma brings a balance of glamour and practicality to the WhichCar Awards; a race car can be beautiful, but it needs to fulfil its functionality brief, as well.
The WhichCar Style Award winner for 2020 will be announced at the Australian Motoring Awards on January 30.