Road Safety Hero - Sterling Maxwell
Sterling Maxwell, Youth Representative - Board of Trustees, Students Against Dangerous Driving (SADD) / Kaitiaki o Ara
Sterling has been involved in SADD/Kaitiaki o Ara since she was in year 9 at Gisborne Girls High School. She helped lead her peers in an environment where it was difficult to change the mindsets of those around her. She persevered and led many road safety initiatives in her school. She became a National Leader and contributed to many initiatives to help empower other young leaders to run SADD at their schools.
Sterling became the very first Youth Representative for the SADD board of trustees. She had already left school and was starting University but still wanted to contribute to road safety. She has helped change the culture at the Board table in their understanding of the youth voice.
She recognised that Driver Licence breaches was a big problem facing young people and embarked on a research project to find out more about what the issues were, why young people were breaching and to help contribute towards solutions to the problem. Sterling coordinated a survey and collated findings from over 500 respondents. She presented her research to representatives from Waka Kotahi and the Ministry of Transport.
Sterling recognised the importance of making SADD more accessible to rangatahi Māori and progressed a report written by a former National Leader, Skylah Holmes, and helped form a Māori advisory group at SADD. She has been passionate about driving this mahi and contributed towards the forming of our Māori name - Kaitiaki o Ara and ideas for expanding our reach to rangatahi Māori.
Sterling is passionate about road safety. She has gone above and beyond to help empower her peers and wider community to build a road safety culture. She has volunteered her time for the past seven years to raise awareness about the issues facing young people on our roads and to offer solutions to try to reduce the number of young people being killed or seriously injured on our roads. She has helped build more young leaders to carry on this kaupapa and to influence the SADD/Kaitiaki o Ara at a governance level, to ensure we remain student-led and continue to build a road safety culture in Aotearoa.
Thank you, Sterling, for being a Road Safety Hero.
Sterling has also been awarded the inaugural Yellow Ribbon Road Safety Alliance Road Safety Hero Award. Congratulations Sterling and very well deserved!