Nathan Farrugia - President
Nathan Farrugia is a physiotherapist by profession and an MBA graduate from Strathclyde. Before serving as CEO of Inspire since 2009, he was the CEO of the Razzett tal-Hbiberija and the driver behind the merger with the Eden Foundation to create Inspire. Together with the team of trustees, Nathan steered the organisation through the dedicated and capable senior managers that, in turn, empower the rest of the team and volunteers to work with clients, support and raise funds with the common vision to see all people with disabilities included in society. In September 2014 he was appointed President of the Board.Nathan is a husband to Deirdre and father to Robyn and Keira. He is an avid endurance athlete and regularly volunteers to raise funds for Inspire and other worthy causes through extreme challenges. He chairs the Malta Voluntary Organisations Council, and is a director on other charities and business boards.
Antonello Gauci - CEO
Antonello Gauci joined Inspire six years ago. After 18 years in the corporate world of business and investments, Antonello decided to take up what he loved doing most, as a full time job. At the time, the merge between Razett tal-Hbiberija and The Eden Foundation was about to take place and since then Antonello has been involved in every aspect of the organization. Before being appointed CEO, Antonello’s most recent role was that of Chief Operating Officer responsible for the Foundation’s commercial arm, which includes the running of the fitness center and indoor pool, as well as the charity shops. Antonello’s role also incorporated HR, IT and operations.
In his personal capacity Antonello is involved in several business activities and the organization of various philanthropic and sportive events. He is a trustee of The Alfred Mizzi Foundation and a founding member of The Ladybird Foundation. For the past 23 years he’s also served on the Voices committee, which he has also chaired for the past eight years.
Ms. Paula Doumanov – qualified as an Occupational Therapist (OT) in 1994, and subsequently obtained a Masters in OT from the University of Exeter (UK). Her research was specifically focused on clinical reasoning skills. During the last 20 years of her career, she worked as an OT in several countries including the USA, UK, Bulgaria & Malta, enabling her to gain extensive experience in a range of diverse settings. She initially specialized as a senior therapist in the field of Neurology, and later became a Clinical Specialist & Clinical Lead OT – setting up OT services & providing professional leadership in Accident & Emergency (A&E) & Supported Discharge Teams as part of Winter Pressure initiatives to reduce waiting lists within the National Health Service (NHS), as well as OT services within a newly established Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Service. Paula has completed numerous training courses, and attended workshops & seminars. She has also published several papers in professional journals, magazines & newspapers. Paula is currently employed as Inspire’s Chief Services Officer leading all disability related services by bringing together expertise & knowledge that is unique to the organization, in order to ensure that the design & content, as well as the delivery of all of its services, are of the highest possible standard & quality & championing client satisfaction across the organization; to develop services & to widen Inspire’s circle of influence and support to the larger community.
Ms. Mercieca has been working in the field of autism for the past 25 years, initially being a tutor facilitating children from 0 to 16 years. She was responsible for the founding and coordination of STEP (Structured Training and Education Programme) for children with autism and was appointed manager of Inspire’s autism programmes catering to more than 150 clients. Ms. Mercieca has recently been appointed as ASD Advisor and also forms part of the Expert Panel at Inspire. Her overall responsibilities include ensuring total quality management across all ASD programmes and services, the further development of specialized autism services and policies while maintaining already achieved National Autistic Society (NAS) UK accreditation standards. Ms. Mercieca forms part of the NAS Autism Accreditation Programme as a member of the Autism Awards Accreditation Panel where she contributes to the collective decisions taken by the board to decide whether there is sufficient evidence to demonstrate that specialized services/schools meet the criteria in order to be awarded accredited status. Ms. Mercieca also participates in evaluating specialised services and schools in the UK as a NAS Accreditation team member. She has completed numerous training courses, has attended workshops and seminars locally and abroad and has participated in EU projects. Ms. Mercieca has obtained a Masters of Education (Autism) with the University of Birmingham.
Alison Bezzina, is responsible Inspire’s marketing and PR function. Her role is that of giving a stronger voice to persons with disabilities and their families.
With fifteen years experience in marketing and communications, Alison Bezzina decided to leave the corporate world to pursue her lifelong dream of working for a cause she truly believes in. Inspire’s work is very close to Alison’s heart because her brother, who just turned 33, suffers from an intellectual disability. Because of this experience Alison grew up with the belief that physical and intellectual impairments are not the main cause of disability, but society and the norms it sets can surely be. At Inspire she uses her passion for the cause, her personal experience in the field of disability as well as her writing talent, to improve and increase the public’s awareness of Inspire’s work and, more importantly, the genuine cause that it represents.
One of her favourite quotes; “The only disability in life is a bad attitude.” – Scott Hamilton
After 21 years working in financial institutions, following studies in banking, finance and sales, moving to a charitable organisation was a fresh challenge, which added a lot of value to my work experience. I have been working with Inspire as Head of Finance and Projects since it’s creation following the merge between Razzett tal-Hbiberija and the Eden Foundation in 2009. Prior that, I had occupied several roles within ir-Razzett tal-Hbiberija in particular as administrator, operations and general management.
My role today is focused purely on making sure all our operations and projects are feasible and sustainable. Being the largest NGO in Malta with over 85 full time employees and nearly 3 million euros in turnover, planning and decision making based on solid financial information is necessary. The small team in the finance department works hard to make sure the organisation is accountable, accurate and operates within good governance. This has added more credibility, already obtained from the high quality of the unique services, which Inspire offers to over 1000 persons with disabilities.
On a personal note, I am a father of two teenaged sons. I am involved in volunteering work with other NGOs in particular environmental ones and am treasurer of Birdlife Malta. I enjoy walking in the countryside, swimming and photography.
I believe that everyone should have the right and opportunity to develop to their maximum abilities and follow their wishes or dreams. I feel privileged that I work in an organization like Inspire, that shares this value and focused its mission towards it.
Giovanna Mirabile Bartolo has been working with Inspire since its creation following the merger between Razzett tal-Hbiberija and the Eden Foundation in 2009, prior that, had occupied the post of Financial Controller within The Eden Foundation. During the period the she had worked at The Eden Foundation pursued her studies and became a member of Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) and Malta Institute of Accountants.
After four years working as Operations & Business Units Manager her role today with Inspire Foundation is that of Fund Raising Events Manager. Her role is to lead and manage the existing fundraising team and volunteers, working with own events and community ones. Develop and implement an effective fundraising strategy, in line with the organisation’s plan and goals. She is responsible too for a number of projects, having the overall responsibility for the successful initiation, planning, design, execution, monitoring, controlling and closure of the specific project.
On a personal note, she is the mother of two young sons and enjoys involving herself in various sports activities and currently volunteers as Treasurer with Floriana FC Nursery. She is actively involved in the running of her family business within the catering industry and finds immeasurable the type of satisfaction the service industry provide.
She continuously promotes models of good care and practice and supports the different needs of our clients. Focusing on raising funds through giving services within our own facilities, like the Fitness Centre and Animal Park and maximise return for donated goods via our charity shops. All this by maintaining high standards of professional service and ensure that all staff abides by ethical standards of privacy and respect for each individual client.
My name is Rosette Gatt and I am a mother of 4 children and a grandmother of 2 beautiful children. The biggest love of my life is my family and their presence, love and support is what keeps me going. My initial training was that in nursing and I think that the caring profession was always a big part of my lifestyle whether I was looking after sick people, children in schools or at the Foundation. I am also a very creative person and I love sewing and reading. Travelling is also something that both my husband and I love doing especially now that the children are grown up.
I have been working within the disability sector for the past 20 years. I started off by managing my own pre-school centre but eventually found out that being an early intervention educator with the Eden Foundation gave me more satisfaction. Since then I have seen the merge of the Eden Foundation and the Park of Friendship. This merge created the biggest organisation that can be accessed by individuals with any type of difficulty whether intellectual, communicative, physical or anything else that is impairing their development or life-styles.
Throughout the years I have continued to develop in this sector and now hold the post of Manager of the Intellectual Disabilities Programme at Inspire. With the sterling help of my team we work at assisting in the planning and implementation of an educational programme for students with specific and non-specific learning difficulties.
Jonas Schrader is the manager of the inspire Learning Centre. In his role he oversees inspire’s Literacy and Numeracy Services (LANES) and all external training activities. Furthermore, Jonas is handling the ongoing development and smooth running of the inspire Learning Centre at Inspire Bulebel with the aim of making it Malta’s focal point and knowledge hub for parents and their children, teachers, LSAs and other professionals on disability issues.
Jonas holds a Masters degree in Special Needs Education from the Humboldt University of Berlin and brings several years of experience as a special needs teacher and inclusion coordinator at various schools in Germany (Berlin) to the table. He joined inspire in September 2014 and is applying his knowledge and experience in Malta in a new context to develop and drive the inspire Learning Centre towards recognition as an educational institute in close collaboration with the inspire expert panel.
In his eyes teaching and learning should always be based around Ignacio Estrada’s quote:
“If someone can’t learn the way we teach, maybe we should teach the way they learn”