Clayton Mercieca (He/Him)
It's been an honour for me to serve as a president of ARC in the past 4 years and this year I would like to serve once again on the board but with the aim to give my input on the organisation of EuroPride 2023.
Denise Aquilina (She/Her)
Over the past two years I have been given the opportunity to be part of ARC’s executive members and this has been an honour for me. I really enjoyed my time within the team and I am empowered to continue being part of working for an inclusive LGBTIQ+ community.
In my personal life I’m married to my wife Claudia and currently working as an HR Generalist. I have also been involved for over 6 years in the Pride team at work. I have been able to implement new things, organise social events and helped raising awareness with respect to my LGBTIQ+ colleagues and Allies.
Being part of ARC’s Executive Committee has been a privilege and I hope to continue being part of the team, to enable me to work hard towards the LGBTIQ+ community, Pride and Euro Pride 2023.
Duane Grech (He/Him)
I've been volunteering with ARC since 2018 when I attended my first Pride and would like to continue helping to put on events for the community as well as help with our biggest Pride yet, EuroPride.
Graziella Scerri (She/Her)
After two consecutive years committing to my role as an executive member of Allied Rainbow Communities, I am super excited for this year 2023, since we are hosting the largest LGBTIQ+ event nationally - EUROPRIDE.
I believe that events like these are a great opportunity to raise more awareness across the globe, but most importantly, in Malta and Gozo. My aim is to be the voice for those still suffering in our community. It is important to break down barriers so people in the community feel safer, even if they are a minority. We can support each other better by sharing the challenges we face whilst being part of this community. Thus, it is my commitment to create safe spaces and build a community where people can celebrate themselves, a part which they might usually be hiding behind close doors.
It is never enough, so if I will be lucky to be given another chance to be part of ARC, I give my utmost to support our community using my experiences, skills and values. I want to see more people holding the hands of their loved ones without any fear, less humans being rejected. I want a community where everyone can be whoever they want to be without being judged and to be able to live with equal rights and freedom we all deserve.
Kyle Ginn (They/Them)
As we enter this pivotal year in ARC's history, I wish to continue to offer my services to ARC as I have done for the past 5 years. Since 2018 I have been involved with ARC, assisting with the organising of events throughout their social calendar, including the annual Malta Pride event. This work has involved fundraising, organising volunteers, and active involvement in meetings to plan events, amongst other things. In 2022, I also attended Europride in Belgrade, representing ARC and Malta Pride. I believe this wealth of experience with ARC, as well as my leadership and team working skills as a manager of two teams in my current job, make me an excellent candidate for consideration on the ARC Executive Team. As a member of the Executive Team, I would give back to the community, ensuring the continued success of ARC and providing an unforgettable year for the LGBTQI+ community in Malta and Gozo.
In my spare time I enjoy reading, meeting with friends, spending time with my dog, exploring new places and meeting new people. Currently I am reading 'Katya: Easy on the Tonic' which was recently published by MGRM.
Lilla Salamon (She/Her)
I have been a member of the ARC executive team for 3 years and helped organizing Malta Pride and other ARC events to bring the community together. I have been hosting LGBT Quiz nights at NAAR since the pandemic started and I would like to bring you other similar events to create entertainment for those who look to meet the community in a relaxed environment.
I have been involved in planning EuroPride 2023 Valletta from the moment we won the bid and i aim to bring you an experience Malta’s LGBT+ scene has never seen before. I also believe it is an opportunity to give a center stage to the community and highlight the issues that still need attention and solutions.
Maria Azzopardi (She/Her)
Maria Azzopardi, she/her, 30 years
Project Manager for EuroPride Valletta 2023 | HR Executive, Hyperion Aviation Limited
My motivation to be on the ARC's Executive Team is to be directly involved within the community. I believe that as a country we have the basis on which to build an educational programme, which will increase awareness and ultimately lead to having a more inclusive society at all levels. I have volunteered with and supported ARC for a number of years, and I am currently part of the steering committee for EuroPride Valletta 2023. I feel I am now ready to take a position which will enable me to keep steering ARC forwards and upward.
I have experience within the Project and Event Planning, Operations Management and Human Resources Management. I have been exposed to all aspects of company/organisation operations including high level finances, strategy and business planning and all operational needs such as marketing, administration, etc.
Hobbies and Interests: I love being in the kitchen cooking and baking! I like to read, spend time outside and travel. I enjoy learning new things, and giving everything a try.
People are always at the focus of everything I do. My dream is to leave behind a society and an environment which is more welcoming than ever, where all information and support needed for anyone to feel safe is available and easily accessible - a society where there is no need to come out, nothing to be scared of. My biggest wish is to see that within our society, anyone can love as they wish and love who they wish, without any prejudice. And I shall be working hard to see it happen!
Michael Owen (He/Him)
I am currently the Vice President of ARC and I have been an active member of Allied Rainbow Communities Executive board for the last 3 years and a volunteer member for a couple of years prior to that. Having organised Pride events since 2007, when I first moved to Malta, I know I wanted to be involved with the Pride here. What I didn't know at the time is how this would happen and how much things would change. Since joining the board, I have had the chance to work with some very dedicated people who only want to do what is right for the local community here in Malta through a number of different initiatives. Currently, this include EuroPride Valletta 2023. This is something I wish to keep on doing, no matter the outcome of these elections. I want to see us, as a team, host the biggest Pride event Malta has ever seen and continue this momentum going in to future years.
Moussa Hammoud (He/Him)
Am Lebanese residing in Malta since 2014. I hold an MBA, and am specialized in business aviation operations, safety and dangerous goods. My personal life is kept separate from my professional life. I enjoy cooking, dancing, music, movies, acting, debating and socializing. I am proud to have ARC and our community since 2016 as the secretary. This make me satisfied that i am giving back to the community that accepted me. I run for another term because i still have a lot to give and much more to be done.
Nicholas Bugeja (he/him)
I’m one of the co funders of arc. One of my main responsibilities was to compile the bid to host EuroPride in Malta. This was successfully achieved. Currently I hold the position of EuroPride Valletta 2023 coordinator as well as the fund manager of arc. I would like to have the opportunity to continue what we started in terms of organisation of EuroPride Valletta 23 to deliver a great experience to all the Maltese Lgbtiq community.
Pia Micallef (She/Her)
Nine years ago I jumped off the Island, and landed in the city looking for a place to call home. It took me nine years to realise that home was always within me, because to a queer person- home really is where the heart is.
For nine years I looked for that feeling- the feeling of being able to be your true self without the fear of judgement or the fear that somehow someone will find out just how imperfect you actually are. I did not find it in a place, or a house or a building. I found that feeling in a community- the queer community.
This is because the queer community accepts me. With all my strengths, my weaknesses, my identity and my imperfections- the queer community accepts the fact that I am a whole human being, and that we are whole human beings just trying to get by. It is because of the queer community that I have learnt to love myself, and accept myself- because it is our community which reminds me every day that you don’t need to be perfect to be loved. You just need to be yourself.
I want to join ARC’s executive because I want to repay the community for giving me that sense of feeling at home, and for helping me accept myself. I want to fight for our community in the same way it fights for me, and I want more people within our community to feel at home like I have, no matter who they are.
There is no better way I can think of doing this, than to join the ARC executive.