Noeline notches up a first for Cook Islands

Friday June 24, 2016 Written by Published in Local
Proud Cook Islander- Noeline Browne has made her family and the nation proud after a milestone achievement. 16062224 Proud Cook Islander- Noeline Browne has made her family and the nation proud after a milestone achievement. 16062224

NOELINE Browne is finally getting to reap what she has sown over the past few years after becoming the first Cook Islander student to complete the University of the South Pacific’s Bachelor of Laws degree on-line courses, undertaken fully at the Cook Islands campus.


Reflecting on her achievement, Brown said law studies had been both fascinating and challenging.

Browne, who has three sons who live in Sydney; Australia said the past few years of her studies had not been easy. But despite the challenges she had encountered, she had never been tempted to give up.

Browne returned to Rarotonga in 2002 to assist her mother with tribal and family matters.

She said she chose this particular line of study because it was an intellectual pursuit of the law and jurisprudence.

“And on the practical level, my knowledge of the law is helpful in solving the legal issues that my family and tribal clans have to deal with in negotiations in relation to our lands.”

Her first stint as a university student was at Auckland University where she studied anthropology and English.

In 2005, she took up management studies which she says were fascinating, but then campus director Rod Dixon recommended that she become part of the first cohort of students in the Cook Islands to enrol for the online undergraduate degree level law course.

“My continuing contribution to the development of Cook Islands can be found in my elective subjects, which are customary law (for the public to know that the Cook Islands Act and Constitution specifically recognises custom in land matters and tribal titles), and International Environment Law and Regional Environment Law.”

With regard to the Law of the Sea, she said as the Cook Islands was an archipelagic country, it was important to realise what its rights and obligations were in terms of international law under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea and associated conventions.

Browne said she had set many goals in life, one of which was the pursuit of happiness for her family; using her knowledge of law to help her family and tribe to work to improve the welfare of the people of the Cook Islands.

Browne thanked and acknowledged the university and its staff for their support and also the government of the day for assisting students like herself through the Government’s Assistance Fund.

She encouraged students to work get qualifications and further their studies while they still could.

            - AB/Release

1 comment

  • Comment Link Fantastic Monday, 27 June 2016 18:16 posted by Fantastic

    So the cost of internet and the Government Assistance Fund would have been minimal to achieve such an achievement?

    Great if there isn't much out of pocket and better if it is offered for all Cook Islanders not just the ones that are chosen and encouraged. Fantastic alright.

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