Mark Pellicano Social Worker, Counsellor, Head of Safeguarding & Chair
Mark has extensive experience in the social field and holds a warrant in both Social Work and Counselling. His most recent role was as the Senior Manager of Children's Services at Fondazzjoni Sebħ, a Church organization that provides residential care for children unable to live with their families. He offers counselling services at Richmond Foundation and lectures at the Faculty for Social Wellbeing at the University of Malta. Mark was previously employed as Correctional Assistant Manager within the Maltese Prisons and was in the council of various NGO’s such as Men Against Violence and the Malta Association for the Counselling Profession. Mark currently serves as the Head of the Safeguarding Commission.
Rev. Antoine Farrugia S.D.B Social Worker, Founding Member & Deputy Chair
A Salesian educator and registered social worker, Fr Antoine works with young people and families in difficult situations, specialising in residential services for youth and children without parental care. Having trained locally and in Europe, he worked with NGOs, educational institutions and government entities in Malta, Ireland and Brussels, at service delivery, management and policy levels. Fr Antoine is qualified in the supervision and training of social workers, care workers and volunteers providing services for young people in difficult situations. Having graduated with an MSc in Child Protection and Welfare from Trinity College, Dublin in 2011, he is currently serving as Chaplain of MCAST and Rector of the Salesian Community in Senglea
Dr Roberta Attard Clinical Psychologist & Founding Member
Roberta is a chartered clinical psychologist and social worker with training in Applied Systemic Theory. She has extensive experience in the field of child and adolescent clinical disorders, child psychotherapy, child forensic psychology, child protection and child abuse investigation. Roberta has practiced in a variety of settings specialising in the use of drawings, play, and psychotherapeutic techniques in individual and group psychotherapy with traumatized children and adolescents. She provides supervision and consultation to other professionals and institutions and delivers training workshops focusing on creative ways of working therapeutically with children suffering from psychological, behavioural and social difficulties. She is a full-time lecturer with the Department of Counselling and a consultant for various State boards and State run programs seeking to provide aid to vulnerable minors.
Dr Natalie Kenely Senior Lecturer in Social Work & Member
Natalie is a social worker by profession, having worked for a number of years with children in different settings. She is a resident senior lecturer in the Department of Social Policy and Social Work at the University of Malta. She acted as Chair of the National Commission for the Family until 2013 and also chaired the Faculty for Social Wellbeing Research Ethics Committee. She sat on the University Research Ethics Committee for a number of years and also served as a member of the Social Work Profession Board. She provides supervision to social workers as well as consultation and training to various organisations on transformational leadership, management and emotional intelligence. She has also provided training on Emotion Coaching to teachers and parents in schools and also coordinated the Practice Education of social work students, focusing on their personal and professional development. Her main areas of research interest are Emotional Intelligence; Compassion fatigue and burnout; Social Work management; Resilience; and Reflective Practice.
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Dr Joseph Cassar Consultant Psychiatrist & Member
Dr Joseph Cassar is a consultant psychiatrist who graduated as a medical doctor from the University of Malta and pursued his psychiatry training at Yale University, USA graduating as psychiatrist in 1998 and furthering his training in consult liaison psychiatry obtaining a fellowship in the field in1999. He is a senior lecturer at the University of Malta and is presently working at Mater Dei Hospital co-leading in emergency psychiatry and consult liaison psychiatry. He is a court expert in a number of cases involving alleged child and adolescent abuse in Malta and Gozo. This year the episopcal conference nominated him as President of Cana Movememt.
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Dr. Mariella Mangion Paediatrician & Member
Mariella is a paediatrician by profession. She is employed at Mater Dei hospital, Malta, as Consultant Community Paediatrican with Special Interest in the Safeguarding of Children. She is the lead professional for child protection issues within the health sector, and is responsible for the formulation of child protection guidelines and practice. She delivers training to undergraduate and postgraduate students within the medical sector, and also to social workers. She works in close collaboration with other agencies involved in the field of safeguarding of children, and has also served as court expert in several cases of alleged child abuse and neglect. Mariella has been working in the field of safeguarding of children for the past twenty years.
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Fr. Michael Farrugia, O.Carm. J.C.D. Canon Lawyer & Member
Father Michael a Carmelite and canon lawyer, is the General Procurator of the Carmelite Order who handle the canonical affairs of the Order to the Holy See and the President of the International Commission of Safeguarding of the Order. He occupied various other roles of government and administration within the Order and the Maltese Carmelite Province. He was Defender of the Bond and Justice Promoter in the Ecclesiastical Tribunal and Judge of the Regional Tribunal of Second Instance. Fr. Michael was member of the Presbyterial Council of the diocese and on various diocesan commissions. He was councillor and President of the Conference of Religious Major Superiors. Having graduated as Doctor in Canon Law, Fr. Michael works and collaborates on issues and subjects about religious life and safeguarding standards within other religious Orders and Congregations.
Dr Nicole Briffa Legal Advisor
Nicole, the legal adviser of the Safeguarding Commission, graduated as Doctor of Laws at the University of Malta in November 2006 and was admitted to the bar in 2007. She has concentrated her practice on litigation and dispute resolution in the civil and family law fields. Nicole worked in two major local law firms prior to starting to work as a sole practitioner in 2016.