11. Maiko Shimizu

Japan, District 2590

Since Maiko saw the United Nations Volunteers working as Election Officers in the first democratic election in Cambodia in 1993 on TV, she has been hoping to work in similar capacity.  After completing a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science at the International Christian University in Japan, and after working in Business Management Department of a software company for three years, she joined InterBand, a Japanese NGO.  While at InterBand, Maiko worked as a researcher and a programme coordinator with her main area of work being in election observation missions (Pakistan, Cambodia, Indonesia, and Taiwan).  She also worked with Asian Network For Free Elections (ANFREL), an international network NGO, as an election observer.  During her study at UQ, she has been focusing on in what ways internationals can assist creating stable peace in conflict-torn society, and what their role is.  She is especially interested in "democratisation" part of peacebuilding process.  During her AFE in Stockholm, Sweden, she worked at the Electoral Processes Team of the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (International IDEA), which is an inter-governmental organisation promoting democracy and providing electoral assistance around the world.  Upon completion of her internship, she entered into a contract with International IDEA and has been working as a consultant for their Electoral Dispute Resolution Project and assisting their Voter Turnout workshops in Japan and Australia.