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After recently receiving a promotion in her job in Manila, Master of Public Policy graduate, Angel Martinez, reflects on her academic and personal journey at the Crawford School of Public Policy as an Australia Awards recipient.
In 2019, Angelica Martinez (Angel) made a life changing decision to study a Master of Public Policy at ANU Crawford School of Public Policy.
“It is recognised as one of the world’s best public policy universities. I was drawn to the cultural and regional diversity that comprise the graduate cohort of the University.” Angel said.
Growing up in Cavite, southwest of the Philippines capital Manila, Angel’s love of travelling and curiosity of the world inspired her to enrol in a Bachelor of International Studies at De La Salle University.
Upon graduation, she proudly followed in the footsteps of her parents and joined the Government in the Department of Finance in Manila. The responsibility of working in public policy was a privilege she did not take lightly.
“Public policy is central to my line of work. As a public servant, I not only encounter a wide array of public policy issues, but I am also involved in implementing policies.” She said.
Looking to further her knowledge and exposure to cutting-edge public policy, Angel relocated from Manila to Canberra in 2020 to commence her Master degree.
The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic was certainly a challenge, especially as Angel was separated from friends and family back home. However, spending time with her new community in Canberra became a highlight of her time in Australia.
“Some of my most memorable moments was meeting new friends, who turned into family, from Australia and across the world. Living in Canberra for almost two years has taught me how to enjoy and live in the present.” She recalled.
Angel noted that despite the disruption of COVID-19, her teachers’ unwavering support was paramount as they quickly adjusted to online learning.
“I was fortunate to have such brilliant professors. I was exposed to a variety of teaching styles that helped me to learn policies based on theoretical and contemporary ideas.” Angel said.
Most notably, Angel expressed her deep gratitude for Professor Sarah Bice’s supervision and the guidance and feedback of Associate Professor Benjamin Hillman, who supported her through her research project.
“Looking back, I realise that the whole journey has developed my resiliency, and stronger commitment to reach my dreams.”
Now back in Manila, Angel is now the Cluster Head of her portfolio at the Department of Finance, where she draws on the skills she developed during her time at Crawford School, particularly her analytical and communications skills, which are essential to effectively to formulating and implementing public policy.
She is particularly grateful for the women in her workplace that actively promote a level playing field to support her throughout her career.
“The trust and confidence from women in leadership at my workplace result in collaborative government operations and a more inclusive society.”
With a strong drive to contribute to sustainable social and economic development in Philippines, Angel reflects on the decision that led her to Crawford School.
“It’s no exaggeration to say that this is one of the best decisions I have ever made in my life so far.”