NATION

Navy’s First Female Recruit: Precise, Focussed on Legal Detail

Fiji’s first Republic of Fiji Military Forces (RFMF) Naval Division female recruit Lieutenant Commander Silipa Tagicaki Kubuabola, has died.
04 Feb 2021 12:10
Navy’s First Female Recruit: Precise, Focussed on Legal Detail
Lieutenant Commander Silipa Tagicaki Kubuabola.

Fiji’s first Republic of Fiji Military Forces (RFMF) Naval Division female recruit Lieutenant Commander Silipa Tagicaki Kubuabola, has died.

She passed away on Tuesday after battling breast cancer. She was 48.

She was described by RFMF Naval Division Commander Captain (Navy) Humphrey Tawake as a lawyer who possessed precise, simple and actionable attention to legal detail.

With paternal links to Dravuwalu Village in Naceva, Kadavu, her career in the Fiji Navy began in August 1998 after completing her undergraduate law degree from the University of Tasmania in Australia.

She pursued further studies when RFMF Naval Division sent her to Malta University to undertake her Masters in Maritime Law focusing on the Law of the Sea.

“She was one of those rare professional who would always advise on second and third order effect on any maritime legal issue,

“Her legal studies and professional development on maritime affairs and security assisted the RFMF Naval Division, transformed our naval and maritime operations ensuring that we were legally bounded by law when conducting our work at sea,” he said.

In 2002, she left for the private sector, but rejoined on February 5, 2018 as the RFMF Naval Division legal officer.

“She brought a huge wealth of legal experience to support our current reforms undertaken by the RFMF Naval Division since 2017.

Commander Tawake described her as a person who was very adaptive and flexible, quick to identify and address legal gaps.

“She was very articulate to analyse regional and international maritime security legal issues and its impacts to Fiji and the region,” he said.

“Silipa has left the Navy in a far better position. She has contributed extremely well to the Navy, RFMF and Fiji. Rest well sailor.”

In 2019, during World Maritime Day, she was recognised for her service in the maritime community and was the highest-ranking woman in the RFMF Naval Division.

She was widow to the late Ratu Mikaele Dreu Kubuabola who was shot in 2017 while on a business trip in Mali, Africa.

She is survived by her two children, 18-year-old Ratu Manasa Kubuabola and 16-year-old Adi Ela Kubuabola.

Edited by Ranoba Baoa

Feedback: adi.sovasiga@fijisun.com.fj



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