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New Zealand Road Safety, Emergency Response and Healthcare Awards Executive Committee (Left to Right) Emeritus Professor Alan Nicholson, Cr Aaron Keown, Professor Mike Ardagh, Sarah Dean, Jenny Dickinson, Professor Gary Hooper, Mike Smith, Al Stewart, Irene Tse and Steve Wakefield.

The New Zealand Road Safety, Emergency Response and Healthcare Awards Executive Committee is represented by well-respected members of the community practising in either community service, medical science, risk management, engineering, road safety and representatives from relevant central government agencies.

The purpose of the Executive Committee is to:

  • Annually review and provide feedback on the Awards criteria as required.
  • Provide oversight of the Awards process and provide feedback on Awards as required.
  • Review Award nominations fairly and impartially.
  • Ensure sufficient due diligence has been provided by the Nominee to ensure Award recipients are deemed ‘fit and proper’ persons.
  • Provide recommendations on recipients for the Awards. If the vote is not unanimous, then a vote of two thirds majority would apply.
  • Provide formal advice on other matters as required to the Trust.

Many of the experts from the Awards Committee bring over five years of experience. The prestige and recognition of the Awards is attributed by the thorough and conscientious judging carried out by the Awards Executive Committee.

EMERITUS PROF. ALAN NICHOLSON (CHAIR)

University of Canterbury

Emeritus Professor Alan Nicholson holds BE(Hons), ME and PhD degrees (all in Civil Engineering) from the University of Canterbury, and a MSc degree (in Transportation and Traffic Planning) from the University of Birmingham (UK). From 2002 to 2016 he was the inaugural Director of the Transportation Engineering programme at the University of Canterbury, and from 2005 to 2009 he was the Head of the Department of Civil and Natural Resources Engineering.

Emeritus Professor Alan Nicholson is the author or co-author of over 150 peer reviewed book chapters, international journal and conference papers, and technical reports, with over 45 being on various aspects of road safety. He has taught courses on road safety at the University of Canterbury since 1988, at the University of Leeds (UK) in 1987, and at the University of Newcastle (UK) in 2001. He has served for eight years on the Editorial Board of the international journal “Accident Analysis and Prevention”. He has been an advisor on traffic safety research to research-funding organisations in NZ, Australia, Canada, the Netherlands, Israel and Qatar.

PROF. MIKE ARDAGH (ONZM, PhD, MBChB, DCH, FACEM)

University of Otago and Canterbury District Health Board

Mike is a Professor of Emergency Medicine at the University of Otago, Christchurch, Specialist in Emergency Medicine and Clinical Lead for the Canterbury Initiative and Hospital HealthPathways at the Canterbury District Health Board, Christchurch, New Zealand.

He has been practising medicine since 1984 and as an Emergency Medicine specialist since late 1993. He has, at times, worked for the Medical Council of New Zealand and the New Zealand Ministry of Health. He has a PhD in bioethics and, in addition to ongoing undergraduate teaching, he has taught in a number of post-graduate medical courses, including the Early Management of Severe Trauma course.

SARAH DEAN

Road Traffic Accident Trauma Charitable Trust t/a National Road Trauma Centre

Sarah Dean is the Founder of the Road Traffic Accident Trauma Charitable Trust trading as the National Road Trauma Centre. In 2016 Sarah founded the concept of the Road Accident Remembrance Day. As a direct result of the inaugural event, she felt more recognition should be given to those within the sector and those deeply impacted in the community who make an influential difference. As a direct result the Canterbury Road Trauma Awards were founded in 2017 and incorporated into the Road Accident Remembrance Day programme.

Sarah has a varied background in the commercial, local and central government sectors in New Zealand and Australia. She also has a background and qualifications in regulatory affairs and quality assurance in the veterinary pharmaceutical sector. She also part owned two highly specialised physiotherapy clinics in Sydney, Australia specialising in chronic pain, particularly those with neck, spinal and hip injuries, in which many of the clients were involved in motor vehicle crashes.

Sarah is very passionate about making an influential difference to the lives of those deeply affected in our community by road trauma and has been an influential contributor to the sector. As a direct result she has gained industry recognition in both government and not for profit sectors.

JENNY DICKINSON

Waka Kotahi, New Zealand Transport Agency

Jenny Dickinson is the Senior Manager of the Integration team in the Safety, Health and Environment Group of Waka Kotahi, New Zealand Transport Agency.  She has a long involvement in the transport sector, working for the Ministry of Transport and two Ministers of Transport in Wellington before joining the Transport Agency approximately seven years ago. 

Jenny has been involved in a number of cross agency transport projects, including the Road to Zero portfolio team, the Road Safety Partnership Programme with New Zealand Police and she is the Project Manager for the Transport Agency’s Visiting Drivers Project.

PROF. GARY HOOPER

University of Otago

Prof. Gary Hooper is the Head of Orthopaedic Surgery and Musculoskeletal Medicine at the University of Otago, (Christchurch). He graduated MBChB (Otago) 1978 and became a Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons in 1985. In 1990 he was an ABC Travelling fellow.

His clinical practice is largely confined to adult elective surgery with the majority being joint replacement surgery. He leads a research group that focuses on outcomes following joint replacement with several RCTs currently in progress. Other research interests include bioengineering with the manufacture of articular cartilage scaffolds, the effect of joint replacement on bone density, and the investigation of disposable orthopaedic implants.

His department is responsible for managing the New Zealand Joint Registry which has produced several published articles on the outcome of joint replacement surgery within New Zealand and is the first registry to generate long term patient reported outcome measures.

The recent earthquakes that have disrupted life in Christchurch have stalled several laboratory based activities but have opened up other areas of activity and current projects investigating the socioeconomic effect of disaster based injuries are being undertaken.

His teaching activities include undergraduate (5th and 6th year medical students), advanced orthopaedic training and postgraduate (Musculoskeletal Diploma and PhD supervision) teaching. He is the immediate past president of the New Zealand Orthopaedic Association, past chairman of the national training committee, past president of the knee society, current director of the Research Foundation and examiner for the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons.

Currently he is a reviewer for The Bone & Joint Journal, the New Zealand Medical Journal and the World Journal of Science and is the first author of a knee paper in the March issue.

CR AARON KEOWN (DEPUTY CHAIR)

Christchurch City Council and Canterbury District Health Board

Aaron Keown is a Christchurch City Councillor and serves on the Fendalton-Waimairi-Harewood Community Board (Harewood Ward) of the Christchurch City Council. Aaron is a member of the Canterbury District Health Board and has served this role since 2010. Aaron is the current Chair of the Christchurch City Council, Disabilities Working Group, a group formed through his advocacy for the disability sector.

Aaron lost two people very close to him in tragic accidents, being his mother and cousin. Aaron is very passionate about making our roading and infrastructure safe and sustainable for all road users.

Aaron has been the MC of each Road Accident Remembrance Day since its inception. 

MIKE SMITH

Stantec

Mike is the Principal Road Safety Engineer at Stantec. With a Master’s degree in Transportation and a formidable 25+ year career as a Senior Road Safety Engineer, Mike offers specialist technical advice nationally to Local Governments, Councils, and Road Controlling Authorities.  He also undertakes expert technical advice overseas to Authorities and Governments in Brunei, Western Australia, Chile, Tonga and Fiji.   His role in the Christchurch transportation team requires him to provide national technical support in road safety systems including Road Safety Auditing, Active Transport design, Safe Systems, and vulnerable road user advice.

Mike is passionate about reducing the nature and severity of injury on New Zealand roads.  He has a strong belief that our road and transportation network should be inclusive for all users, be they in cars, trucks, bus’s, walking or cycling.  Our designs should strive to reduce harm to all users, and have a holistic approach to develop a safe system.  Mike has led the development of new national systems that considers all users in assessing fitness for use and safety of facilities.

Mike, through his involvement in Road Safety, and through skills and responses developed through Surf Lifesaving, has been at the front end of responding to trauma on our roads, be it crash investigations and reporting, or actual attendance at scene through his frequent travels on our road network.  He has seen the chain of survival first hand, and strongly feels that an end-to-end framework is required that addresses first response through to post event rehabilitation and care.

AL STEWART

Al Stewart served in the New Zealand Police for past thirty years. In April 2021 he retired from his role as Regional Manager for the Police Prosecution Service (South Island), he qualified as Barrister in 2000. Al held various operational roles, and was the Canterbury District Road Policing Manager for ten years, responsible for all local road safety operations.

In 2006 he deployed to Timor Leste and established and ran the largest Police Area, being awarded the New Zealand Bravery Medal for negotiating the release of seven hostages held in a hostile internally displaced persons camp while in this role.

Al currently consults for the World Bank and Global Road Safety Partnership (IFRC) in a number of low and middle income countries, working with local teams to improve road safety for their communities. He is passionate about road safety, capacity building other Police Services and supporting members of other agencies and our community who actively work to reduce road trauma.

IRENE TSE

Irene Tse is the Technical Lead Road Safety Engineering for Auckland Transport.  Irene has a real passion for road safety and has a strong focus in addressing equity in road safety for people, particularly pedestrians and cyclists our most vulnerable road users.   She is a Chartered Professional Engineer, and a leader in road safety in New Zealand.

With 25 years of experience in road safety and traffic engineering for both urban and rural road networks, 19 years of which has been within the local government sector, dealing direct with elected officials and the community.  She is responsible for developing and overseeing the delivery of crash reduction studies, safer communities programs, intersections, corridor and walking and cycling improvements to meet the strategic outcome of reducing road trauma and support transport choices.  As part of her role, Irene has lead the team who undertake fatal and serious crash investigations in partnership with the Serious Crash Unit of New Zealand Police. 

Auckland Transport has adopted the Vision Zero and Safe System approach; Irene is responsible for embedding the Safe System design principles into the business.  She has been a key contributor towards Auckland Transport’s Vision Zero Strategy Plan, Road Safety Business Case and embedding Safe System Assessment Framework (modified) within the organisation.  She continues to develop operational protocols to drive Safe System outcomes for Auckland Transport’s complex and ever growing network. 

She has delivered a number innovating projects, including the very first Self Explaining Road Project (Point England), Self Explaining Rural Road (speed management) project, modification of Safe System Assessment Framework (providing a stronger focus on Vulnerable Road User), and the Mass Action Pedestrian facility Improvement programme. She continues to apply the safe system framework to address pedestrian crashes at existing zebra crossings including modifying the raised table profile through research and field trials and update the Auckland Transport Design Manual;  Auckland Transport’s first flagship Safe System Mix Used Arterial Demonstration project and Dominion Road Motorcycle Demonstration project.   

STEVE WAKEFIELD

Steve is a Fellow Chartered Accountant, and has recently retired from a 36 year career with the global accounting and consulting services firm of Deloitte. At Deloitte Steve had a range of roles including Head of Risk Advisory Services for the South Island, Office Managing Partner for Christchurch, and Head of the IT Consulting Services practice for the South Island.

Steve has also committed to the community by accepting governance roles including serving three years as Deputy Chair of the Canterbury District Health Board, and is currently on the Board of the Court Theatre, the Youth Hostels Association of NZ, the Church Property Trustees, the East Lake Trust, and the NZ Health Innovation Hub. He has also recently been appointed to the Governing Council of the University of Canterbury.