UC student president among Women of Influence award finalists

One of the women leading Canterbury into the future, the University of Canterbury Students’ Association President Tori McNoe has been shortlisted for the Women of Influence Young Leader award.

A UC Bachelor of Criminal Justice graduate completing a Bachelor of Arts majoring in Sociology and Psychology, McNoe (Te Arawa) describes herself as “an impressionable young Māori leader”.

“I’m always looking to broaden my horizons. I hold a particular interest in youth and our place in the world and I want my work to reflect that. I seek to enjoy everything I do and aim to inspire others to do the same,” she says.

“I come from a small town where there aren’t a lot of opportunities for young people. They can end up getting in trouble with drugs, crime and depression. So I’m interested in how the law can actually help youth. My long-term goal is to work in police intelligence, with a focus on youth justice. Additionally, I know we have power in governance, so I always want to be involved in keeping youth in those spaces and confident at the table.”

As 2019 UCSA Vice-President, she went into her 2020 presidency with her eyes open to the realities of the role, its challenges and responsibilities.

McNoe has also made a huge contribution to the entrepreneurship sector of Canterbury, mentoring and encouraging local businesses onto campus to mentor and work with student entrepreneurs.

She is an Interim Regional Skills Leadership Group member at Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, on behalf of UC – something that is above and beyond her role as UCSA President.

She is also serving on The Board of Momentum, an investment board that gives advice and offers mentorship and funding to young entrepreneurs.

“Our work should equip the next generation of women to outdo us in every field. This is the legacy we’ll leave behind,” McNoe says.

She made history this year when she and UCSA Vice-President Katie Mills took office, making UC the first and (so far) only Aotearoa New Zealand university to be led by women. McNoe and Mills are the first female duo to lead the UC students’ association since it began in 1894. Last year, for the first time since it was founded in 1873, UC appointed two women to lead the university – lawyer and UC alumna Sue McCormack as its new Chancellor, and former Vice-Chancellor of South Africa’s largest research university (University of Pretoria) Professor Cheryl de la Rey as UC’s Vice-Chancellor.

Other UC graduates among the list of Women of Influence finalists include:

· CEO & Director of Research of Matai, Samantha Holdsworth 
A finalist for the Innovation, Science & Health award, she is a pioneer of fast, high-resolution MRI methods and amplified MRI (a new method of visualising brain motion).

· CEO & Founder of The Rubbish Whisperer Limited, Helen TownsendA finalist for the Business Enterprise award, her company specialises in eco-friendly products made locally and is a market leader in innovative products to reduce plastic waste.

About the awards: The Women of Influence programme helps share the remarkable stories of women who are making a difference to the lives of New Zealanders. Each year, the awards programme shines a light on the amazing work Kiwi women are doing, from grassroots level to the global stage, and helps propel future leaders and rising stars to bigger and better things.

For more information or to request an interview, please contact:

UCSA President president@ucsa.org.nz