Raven Maeder is a Law and Environmental Studies student at Victoria University, and a national coordinator of School Strike 4 Climate in Aotearoa. Raven is passionate about youth empowerment, environmental protection and climate activism, and she has been active in these areas on a local, national and international level since a young age.
Raven is the current Chair of the UNESCO Aotearoa Youth Leaders and represented this group at the 'Our Ocean Youth Leadership Summit' in Bali last year, she has travelled to the pristine Sub-Antarctic Islands as a part of a scientific research and conservation expedition with the Sir Peter Blake Trust, and has been actively involved in mobilizing young people against oil and gas development in Aotearoa and to push for urgent action on climate change both in her hometown, Nelson, and now in Wellington.
Raven is passionate about empowering young people within our democracy to ensure that their voices are heard and that their interests are represented in the political agenda; she was a co-organizer of the 'Shaping Aotearoa' youth civics summit in Wellington in 2017, and served as the Campaigns Officer on the Victoria University of Wellington Students' Association. In this time, she worked on the successful Fairer Fares campaign, which pushed the Wellington Regional Council to introduce a tertiary discount on public transport for the first time, and the 'We Have Power' campaign which focused on increasing youth voter turn-out in the 2017 General Election.
This year, Raven's primary focus outside of her studies has been helping organize the School Strike 4 Climate movement across Aotearoa. Raven fiercely believes that youth are not only important future leaders, but that they can contribute significantly to their local and global communities right now, particularly on issues that will fundamentally impact their futures, such as Climate Change. She has been incredibly empowered and heartened to see thousands of students, from kindergarten to university ages, rise up to fight for their right to a future.
Raven hopes that through her studies, and activism now, she will hone her skills as an advocate for intergenerational and environmental justice, and ultimately contribute to the transition to a more environmentally, and socially sustainable world for her generation and all those to come.