Archbishop Charles Scicluna has appointed Mark Pellicano as the new head of the Safeguarding Commission of the Archdiocese of Malta, which investigates cases of abuse within Church structures and promotes the wellbeing of children and vulnerable adults.

Mr Pellicano succeeds Andrew Azzopardi, who was instrumental in setting up the Commission in 2015 and recently took up a new role as safeguarding head at the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP).

Mr Pellicano, who leaves his post as Children’s Services Senior Manager at Fondazzjoni Sebħ – a Church organisation offering residence services for children unable to live with their families – has extensive experience in the field, having occupied several related positions as well lecturing at the Faculty for Social Wellbeing at the University of Malta.

Mr Pellicano said: “I wish to thank the Archbishop for entrusting me with this important role.

“My aim is to continue to ensure the Safeguarding Commission is a safe space where children and vulnerable adults feel they are heard and supported through a victim-centred approach, while at the same time ensuring that each complaint is meticulously assessed, validated and investigated in the most professional and objective manner.

“The Commission will also continue to place great emphasis on preventative measures and training based on research and best practices; working hand in hand with a board made up of experts in the social, psychological, and psychiatric fields.”

The Archbishop said: “I would like to thank Mr Azzopardi for his dedicated service and hard work in making the Safeguarding Commission what it is today and I have every confidence that Mr Pellicano will continue to enhance its sterling reputation in preventing and tackling abuse in all its forms.”