Message From the President

Dear Members,

It has been some weeks since the new EC started to function, and as a committee we would like to take the opportunity to thank you all for the responsibility you have entrusted us with. We are truly grateful and at the same time humbled with this responsibility which we do on as a service to the profession.

On the subject of service, I am sure that as a counselling community, we all have this value at heart. We all serve in different ways, either through our engagement in boards and councils or in our daily commitment to the welfare of our clients. All this creates a strong community of professionals engaged in the social sphere to promote wellbeing, justice and equity. It is how we approach our profession and what we give to it that makes it so rich. On this thought, I would like to share Kübler-Ross's take on it:

'As far as service goes, it can take the form of a million things. To do service, you don't have to be a doctor working in the slums for free, or become a social worker. Your position in life and what you do doesn't matter as much as how you do what you do.' (Elisabeth Kübler-Ross)

As an EC we have set ourselves three goals which we intend to achieve and have already started to map out our action plan. The first is that of training. The previous training Sub-committee, within the EC 2015-2017, had planned out a number of training sessions, most of which with a practical experiential side to them, as requested by yourselves as members. I have to say that both trainings 'Selves on a Page' and 'Integrating Creativity in Counselling' received an excellent evaluation by members that attended to them. For this I would like to thank Fiona D'Amato, Niamh Donoghue, Gabrielle Doublesin and Etienne Gatt for their sterling work in the setting up of this training plan. The current EC has entrusted the chairing of this training Committee to Fiona D'Amato (MACP Secretary).

The second point we would like to focus on is Marketing. As an EC we have noticed that there is still some way to go before counselling finds its place on the map, in every service and every household that needs it. For this to happen the EC decided to create a Sub-Committee that will map out an action plan for the counsellor to become a go-to professional, should an individual need to. It is our aim to become more visible on all types of media. This committee will be chaired by Etienne Gatt, that happens to also be the Public Relations Officer for MACP.

Our third point of focus will be that of Trade-Union matters. We understand this to be the steepest learning curve that as an association and trade-union we need to confront. Thanks to our colleagues Silvia Galea (former President), Nicholas Portelli (former Vice-President) and Mark Pellicano (former Secretary) a great deal has been achieved, though not always in a visible manner to the associations members. In fact, these three previous EC members have laid the groundwork for many contacts and liaisons that might be important in the future development of our profession, as well as created networks with important stakeholders. As a counsellor working in the field myself, and from feedback given to me, I am aware that more can be done by the EC by way of support to improving working conditions and working opportunities of its members. I can assure you that as an EC we have made a definite decision to focus on this very important matter. For this reason, another subcommittee was set, which will be chaired by Mark Pellicano, Vice-President of MACP. Your suggestions and contributions to ensuring that this is taken forward is solicited.

As an EC we believe that our communication with you members should be frequent and informative. Thus, we are aiming at communicating to you as members what the EC will be engaged in on a Monthly schedule. This is because we value your input and would appreciate your ever increasing involvement as members. Together we can make something good become even better.

It is also a high prerogative of this new EC to instil good working relationships with all the stakeholders in the counselling world as well as other kindred professions. We believe that by creating a healthy working dynamic, both the clients and the different professionals working in the sector will benefit greatly. I am sure that with our training, with our energy and with our creativity all this is possible. Remember that MACP can only be as functional as the contribution of its members and therefore we all need own it and take responsibility for it.

I would also like to thank Silvia Galea, for her service as president for the past two years. Her dedication and her work was witnessed by us as an EC working close to her as well by other stakeholders that came in contact with her. I also extend my thank to previous EC members that are not on the committee during this term for their dedication. These are Gabrielle Doubelsin, Nicholas Portelli, Niamh Donoghue and Rita Galea.

To conclude we would once again like to thank you all for the faith you have put in us and we assure you our continued commitment to your welfare, that of the profession and most importantly, to that of the clients we serve.

Many kind regards,

Ryan Portelli
MACP President