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Noel Ng was born in the United States but spent most of his life in Singapore. Before coming to Tasmania, Noel was busy working as a police officer in Singapore and had never heard of the island state. However, when Noel decided to pursue a new career in law, an off-chance meeting with two University of Tasmania (UTAS) representatives inspired him to make the move.

“I decided to study in Tasmania when I met the then UTAS regional recruitment manager, Mr Pang Lim, and the then deputy dean of the UTAS School of Law, Associate Professor Rick Snell, at a university fair. They both convinced me to come to UTAS, so I took a leap of faith.”

Life at UTAS

Noel looks back fondly on his experience at UTAS, saying that he found both his studies and his life on campus incredibly fulfilling.

He says, “The lecturers and tutors were knowledgeable and made some of the slower subjects much more exciting”.

But it was the UTAS community that defined his student experience.

“I made lifelong Aussie friends. My fondest memories would be the countless road trips, spontaneous bushwalking adventures and awesome campfires accompanied with barbecues on a mate’s family farm.”

Noel adds, “I stayed at Jane Franklin Hall throughout my university tenure, where everyone was welcoming and took care of each other. I found it touching that someone was always looking out for me whenever we headed out for a late night”.

And this supportive community extended far beyond the boundaries of the university.

“A special experience I will never forget is that I would always bump into someone whenever I was out and about because the Tassie community is small and close-knit!”

For Noel, his friendships were an incredibly important part of his student experience in Tasmania. He advises other international students to try to meet people as well. If you’re struggling to make friends, he suggests that you “don’t wait for others to approach you. Be the one to approach others first”.

Working internationally

These days, Noel is working as a lawyer with Goodwins Law Corporation in Singapore.

“I am in charge of the mentorship and internship program, and I’m also the firm’s representative at various international events, such as a recent law conference in Amsterdam.”

Noel believes that his studies at UTAS gave him the confidence to succeed as a lawyer, explaining that the university’s culture of listening to and respecting the opinions of others has shaped how he practises law today.

“Being a lawyer is not stress-free, and it is always good to remember that wise decisions can only be made when one is calm and collected. Also, everyone’s opinion matters, even those you totally disagree with. They all shape your decisions.”

Noel’s time at UTAS also inspired him to help other international student graduates in Singapore.

“I sit on the Australian Alumni Singapore (AAS) management board, the national umbrella organisation for Singaporean or Singapore-based graduates of Australian universities. The AAS patrons include the current Australian High Commissioner to Singapore [His Excellency The Hon Will Hodgman, former Premier of Tasmania] and Singapore’s former President, His Excellency Dr Tony Tan Keng Yam. I also sit on the board of an Asian philanthropic foundation, which focuses on aiding schools and healthcare sectors in Singapore and South-East Asia.”

Staying connected to Australia

In the future, Noel is keen to continue engaging with the international student community and to help other Australian university graduates in Singapore.

“I hope to build up a supportive community for Australian graduates, especially law graduates, to come together to seek advice and mentorship from the more senior members of the community. Only when we are all willing to help one another seek out and carve out more talents can we uphold the motto of UTAS – Ingeniis Patuit Campus (‘the field is open to talent’).”