Cyrille Abueg-Zaldivar, who graduated from CMU Australia in 2009, recently won a landslide victory to secure the 2nd district congressional seat of Palawan, the largest province in the Philippines.
When the 18th Congress of the Philippines opens in July, she will be one of only 53 women in the 297-seat House of Representatives.
Cyrille completed her Master of Science in Public Policy and Management degree with highest distinction and partially attributes her success to the skills and knowledge she received while at CMU Australia.
She believes that she will utilize what she learned at CMU Australia to find ground-breaking solutions to her country’s challenges and advance the public interest.
She said that she often relies on concepts, ideas, and analytical and technical skills learnt at CMU-A.
“Even during our recent electoral campaign, when we had to ensure our limited resources were spent where they counted the most, I turned to my CMU Australia learnings." - Cyrille Abueg-Zaldivar
“For example, we didn’t merely allocate our limited resources on gut feel or intuition, but on analysis of the available data.
“In addition, as a candidate, the leadership and communication skills I honed during my CMU Australia days allowed me to present myself as a competent and trustworthy choice for the electorate.
“I fondly remember my days at CMU Australia, where we faced enriching course work and learned from, and with, some of the most brilliant minds in the world”, said Cyrille.
After graduation, Cyrille returned to the Philippines to continue her legal practice and work in government at both the executive and legislative departments.
In congratulating Cyrille, Professor Emil Bolongaita CMU-A Head said “this is wonderful news and it’s no surprise that Cyrille has been successful in her bid to enter politics.
“She was a talented and exceptionally hard-working student graduating with highest distinction grades.
“While at CMU-A, Cyrille made insightful and innovative contributions to discussions and debate”, said Emil.
“Her training in the law, coupled with her studies in policy and management at CMU Australia, provided the ideal background and training for public life.
“Everyone at CMU Australia wishes Cyrille great success and we look forward to watching her make her mark on life in the Philippines”, he said.
Cyrille was a recipient of the prestigious Australia Awards scholarship, funded by the Australian Government, to provide learning opportunities to future leaders and influencers from developing countries.
One hundred and thirty-nine Australia Awards students have completed a Masters degree at CMU Australia since it’s inception in 2006.