My name is Christiana Ballester and I was born and raised in Gibraltar.
I would like to present myself as a candidate as I believe I have many skills that could be of use to the party and the wider community. I admit that expressing myself in writing does not come easy to me, as numbers are my preferred language - so bear with me :)
I am blessed to have been born into a loving and hard-working family who taught me important moral values, such as the value of hard work, solidarity with my fellow people and respect for diversity and difference of opinion. They also instilled in me a love for our very special community, our culture and traditions.
I currently work in the accounts department of a local wholesaler and I am currently studying towards the CIMA qualification. I am also the Treasurer of a local cat charity and have been for the past 4 years.
I attended Governor’s Meadow First School, Bishop Fitzgerald Middle School and Westside Comprehensive School. I really enjoyed these formative years, they filled me with an appreciation for knowledge and learning, along with a solid background for the future. Like most children, I enjoyed the fact that Gibraltar is a strong community that often came together. I have always been tremendously proud of how Gibraltar is a place where people from different backgrounds are able in live in harmony together.
I have always strived to acquire different skills and explored several avenues before settling down in my career path. This speaks of my inquisitive and curious nature, and my desire to have an understanding of how different aspects of society function, partnered with a thirst for personal experience.
I have always had a very scientific way of thinking and a profound love for numbers. My nature is to be rational and methodical, and I apply these skills to my everyday life. This love for numbers instinctively drew me towards a degree in Mathematics, and my analytical nature drove me towards specialising in the field of Statistics.
During my year out and as part of my University degree, I had the opportunity to work in the Government’s Statistics Office, where I gained some experience in the field of Statistics applied to field of public management and policy. This gave me invaluable insight into the workings of public administrations, and showed me how useful my skills could become if applied for the betterment of the community.
For my final project at University, I chose to research different learning styles and abilities. A group of us worked on improving the online website for students by providing course notes in different formats to suit different learning styles. I believe that if someone cannot learn in the way they are taught, then they must be taught in a way they can learn. The system must provide for people with different abilities and skills, and not create uniformity. I also believe that as a society, as well as an economy, these varied skills and talents can help us be more creative and innovative. The results were extremely positive and I believe that this platform was a great means of providing further support to students.
I went on to read my degree at the University of Exeter in Mathematics and felt ready to share my experiences and expertise with the world. I was filled with a sense of purpose and a real can-do mentality.
At the schools I attended I came across several teachers who were a true inspiration to me. This experience led me to consider becoming a teacher, however I soon came to realise that there was something else that I wanted to achieve. I wanted to help improve our current system in order to reach as many students as possible.
I believe we are very fortunate for the education which Gibraltar has to offer, including the funding available to support further education abroad, but as with everything else, I believe there is room for improvement. We are currently missing out on and many opportunities that could benefit our next generations. We have a focus on specific skillset, such as law and accountancy, that does not allow for our industry to be vibrant and diverse. We need to promote careers in technology, science and mathematics. If our economy is to look to the future, we must encourage people to develop careers in STEM and provide opportunities for innovation.
Our current health system is one which I intend to improve. Waiting times in A&E are excessive, and this seems to stem from mismanagement and inefficient organisation. The staff, who already do a great job, would also benefit from further assistance provided. My management skills and background in statistics will allow us to obtain a true and real picture of where the problems lie and how to maximise efficiency.
Something I would strive for is true and clear transparency regarding our finances, the tax payer’s hard earned money. My skills with statistics and forensic accounting would help in properly auditing public accounts if elected into Government. Then and only then, will we know the true state of our economy, how much money has been spent by our Government in all the recent developments, and what our true level of public debt is.
I believe with all my heart that it’s time for genuine change in Gibraltar.
I see the injustices that happen in Gibraltar and it fills me with a sense of purpose and urgency that has spurred me to make this step. After listening to Marlene speak publicly and following the party’s progress, I came to realise Together Gibraltar was my political home. I have been inspired to believe in the possibility that we can make a difference and have a parliament that truly represents the voice of our community.
My passion for numbers, organisation skills, initiative and honesty are qualities which I can bring to the party, if I am granted the trust of the membership.