LEAD - Mentors

MIRIAM DALLI

Miriam Dalli was elected Member of the European Parliament in 2014. Just two years later, she was elected as coordinator of the Socialists and Democrats for the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety, where she coordinates the political group’s policy in these areas.

Dalli has been selected as best MEP for her work in Energy in 2016 and Best MEP for her work in Public Health in 2017. A lawyer by profession, Miriam Dalli holds a Masters in European Studies and a Masters in Business Administration.

> www.miriamdalli.com

HELENA DALLI

Dr Helena Dalli was appointed Minister for European Affairs and Equality following the general election of the 3rd of June 2017. During the previous legislature she was minister for Social Dialogue, Consumer Affairs and Civil Liberties (March 2013-June 2017). First elected to Parliament in 1996, she served as Parliamentary Secretary in the Office of the Prime Minister between 1996 and 1998.

She was subsequently re-elected to Parliament in 1998, 2003, 2008, 2013 and 2017. Dr Dalli holds a PhD in Political Sociology and lectures in Economic and Political Sociology, Public Policy, and Sociology of Law at the University of Malta. Helena Dalli won the European Diversity Award for her work in human rights.

> www.dallihelena.com

EVARIST BARTOLO

Evarist Bartolo was born on 14 October 1952 in Mellieha. In 1975 Bartolo graduated from the University of Malta with a B.A. (Hons) degree in English Literature and continued his studies in journalism at Stanford University. He also read for a Master’s in Education at the University of Cardiff.

A member of parliament since 1992, he worked mostly in Education, European affairs and Tourism as well as serving as Minister of Education and National Culture under a Labour government between 1996 and 1998. Evarist Bartolo took office as the Minister for Education and Employment on March 2013 and was re-appointed in this role in June 2017. Minister Bartolo is known for being a proponent of civil rights in Malta, co-sponsoring a Parliamentary Bill for the introduction of divorce legislation in Malta. The bill was approved in Parliament in October 2011 following a successful referendum campaign.

> www.evaristbartolo.com

OWEN BONNICI

Owen Bonnici is the Minister for Justice, Culture and Local Government.  He piloted a number of important pieces of legislation such as the Party Financing Law, the Whistleblowers’ Act, the Law removing prescription on corruption by politicians and the Constitutional Reform in the appointment of the Judiciary.  He was also responsible for National Restoration projects such as Fort St.Angelo and for creating new cultural entities such as ZfinMalta and TeatruMalta.

He holds a pro-feminist agenda. In fact, under his watch the number of women in the Judiciary has drastically increased and a woman Judge presided over a trial by jury for the first time in history.

> www.owenbonnici.com

IAN BORG

Dr Ian Borg was born on 28th February 1986. Dr Borg’s political career started in 2005, when he was elected Mayor of his hometown Dingli, a role for which he was re-elected in 2008. In 2009, he was also elected as an Executive Member of the Local Councils Association while also serving in the North Regional Committee and in the Users’ Committee of the Malta Environment and Planning Authority. 2010 saw his election as a member of the Maltese delegation to the Committee of the Regions, and the following year he became President of the Labour Party Councillors Section, hence serving as a member of the Labour Party Administration. Dr Borg graduated as a Doctor of Laws from the University of Malta in 2012, the same year he was once again re-elected as Mayor of his hometown. As of 2013, Dr Borg has been a Maltese Member of Parliament as part of the Labour Party. He served as Parliamentary Sectretary for the EU Presidency 2017 and EU Funds for four years, before being re-elected and becoming Minister for Transport, Infrastructure and Capital Projects.

CHRIS CARDONA

Dr Chris Cardona is the Minister for the Economy, Investment and Small Businesses as well as the Deputy Leader for Party Affairs for the Malta Labour Party.

Minister Cardona has been a social advocate and involved with the Labour Party since he was a teenager, joining the then socialist youth organization and getting elected as a local councilor for his hometown of Birkirkara, whilst pursuing his studies as a Notary and as an Advocate from the University of Malta. He later specialized in International Maritime Law at the United Nations International Maritime Organization.

In 1996, at the age of 24, he became a Deputy for the Maltese Parliament for the first time and since then has contested successfully in all consequent general elections. Twenty years later, in 2016, he became part of the party leadership structure, being elected as a Deputy Leader.

JULIA FARRUGIA PORTELLI

Hon. Julia Farrugia Portelli is a former journalist, with 20 years' experience under her belt. She has worked both for television and radio and also in the print medium where she was appointed as the first female editor of a Maltese newspaper. Hon. Farrugia Portelli also served as Vice Chairperson of the Institute of Maltese Journalists.
 
In the past four years, Julia Farrugia Portelli worked at Projects Malta, striving to facilitate Public Private Partnerships in order to develop exciting new opportunities for Malta. 
 
She is now serving as Parliamentary Secretary for Reforms, Citizenship and Simplification.

ROSIANNE CUTAJAR

Rosianne Cutajar (1988) is a Member of Parliament within the House of Representatives of Malta. She is Chairperson of the Parliamentary Committee for Family Affairs and Head of Malta’s delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Organisation for Security and Co-Operation in Europe (OSCE). 

Rosianne is the youngest Member of Parliament in the current legislature, and the second youngest woman MP after former President Agatha Barbara. She is a teacher by profession.In March 2012, at twenty-three years of age, Rosianne served as the first female mayor of Qormi, one of Malta’s largest localities in terms of population and business concentration. In 2015, she was reconfirmed as Qormi mayor with the highest number of first-count votes out of all female candidatures nationally in the round of elections.

She continues to chair the Education section of NL (Nisa Laburisti), and is co-presenter with Sandro Craus of the Sunday morning news review on One — a media platform she has worked for in the past as journalist and newscaster.

AARON FARRUGIA

Hon. Dr Aaron Farrugia served as the Chief Executive Officer of the Malta Freeport Corporation from 2013 until 2017. He worked as a statistician with Malta's National Statistics Office; as a European Union (EU) funds manager within the Ministry of Health; and as a Maltese national delegation adviser to the Committee of the Regions.  In June 2017, Aaron was elected to the Maltese parliament, and appointed Parliamentary Secretary for EU Funds and Social Dialogue.

CHRIS FEARNE

Hon. Christopher Fearne was born in Attard, Malta on 12 March 1963.  In April 2016 he was appointed Minister for Health after holding the position of Parliamentary Secretary for Health since April 2014.  In June 2017 he was re-appointed Minister for Health following the general elections and in July 2017 he was elected Deputy Prime Minister following the Malta Labour Party’s extraordinary general council.  Prior to this, Hon. Fearne worked as a Consultant Paediatric Surgeon and Clinical Chairman at Mater Dei Hospital. He is a Member of Parliament for the Labour Party and was the Chairman of the Foreign and European Affairs Committee at the Maltese House of Representatives.

Hon. Fearne has worked as a doctor and surgeon for over 30 years.  He received his formal education at St. Aloysius College and at the University of Malta graduating in Medicine and Surgery in 1987, becoming a Fellow of The Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh.  He worked and studied in a number of children’s hospitals in England, including the Great Ormond Street Hospital in London.  He also lectures students of medicine at the University of Malta.

Hon. Fearne is married to Astrid.  They have 3 children, Dawn, Julian and Rafael.

JUSTYNE CARUANA

Hon. Dr Justyne Caruana was first elected to Parliament in 2003 and successively in 2008, 2013 and 2017, always from her native Gozo constituency.  She served as the Parliamentary Secretary for Rights of Persons with Disability and Active Ageing from 2014 to 2017. She is the Minister for Gozo since June 2017. In Opposition she was Spokesperson  for Youth, Culture, Sports, Family, Children and Persons with Disability.

As head of the Maltese Parliament’s delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Mediterranean (PAM), she also serves on the gender equality task force and is rapporteur of the first committee on political affairs.  Dr Caruana was regional representative of the UK, British Isles and Mediterranean Region on the Steering Committee of the Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians and currently represents Malta on its Regional British Isles and Mediterranean Steering Committee.  In 2016, Dr. Caruana was nominated as Malta’s ambassador in the Women in Parliaments Global Forum.

SILVIO SCHEMBRI

Hon. Silvio Schembri was born on the 16th May 1985.  He graduated with Honours and a Master in Economics at the University of Malta where he is today a visiting lecturer in economics and finance.  

Silvio Schembri was elected to Parliament in 2013 and was re-elected in  2017 on two districts obtaining the highest number of votes on district 6.  His political career started way back at College where he was also active in the social democratic student organisation Pulse.  At the age of 18 he contested the local councils elections of his hometown, Luqa where he was elected alongside his father John who has since occupied the post of town mayor.

During the 2013-2017 labour government Hon. Schembri was appointed by the Prime Minister to serve as the Chairperson for the Economic and Financial Affairs Parliamentary Committee, entrusted to lead critical discussions on the financial development of the Maltese economy.  Hon.  Schembri was also appointed to Chair the Responsible Gaming  Foundation with the remit of promoting responsible gaming in Malta.

DEO DEBATTISTA

A long standing family medical doctor by profession, Deo Debattista believes in meeting the holistic needs of the citizen especially from a social and health point of view. Dr Debattista joined the political arena with the intention of being a service to the citizen by ensuring that each and everyone reach the best of their abilities and that no one would be neglected.

Dr Debattista was first elected in Parliament in 2013 from the first electoral district which is made up of the residents of Valletta, Floriana, Hamrun, Marsa, Pieta and St. Venera. He served as a member in the Council of Europe and Parliamentary Committee Chairman of Valletta 2018. In August 2013, Dr. Debattista was appointed Chairperson of the Occupational Health and Safety Authority in Malta. In June 2017, after being re-elected Prime Minister Joseph Muscat appointed him Parliamentary Secretary responsible for Valletta 2018 and Consumer Affairs. In this capacity, Dr Debattista is responsible for Valletta 2018 and its legacy, the Malta Competition and Consumer Affairs Authority (MCCAA), Malta Medicines Authority, Malta Laboratories Network, National Accreditation Board, Data Protection and the Directorate of Public Cleansing. Prior to his election to Parliament, Dr Debattista served ardently as a medical doctor in the areas of Valletta, Hamrun, Floriana, Marsa, St. Venera, Pieta, Msida and wherever his services were required.