Partnership Information

Partnership Information

Students interested in participating in activities with PACOS Trust need to have great teamwork skills and work well independently. They will also need to be resourceful, view challenges as opportunities for growth, and work well in cross-cultural environments. Law activities can be particularly rigourous, requiring a strong work ethic, interest and academic skills.

All PACE International activities at PACOS Trust include a 4-5 day field trip to the surrounding villages. Student must be able to manage basic (safe, clean and homely) living conditions and have a basic level of fitness to undertake the field trip.

Activities with PACOS Trust provide student with experience in:

  • Interest in indigenous rights
  • cross-cultural awareness
  • research and data gathering skills

Accommodation: Students will share a 3-bedroom guesthouse located in a rural village about 10 minutes drive from the PACOS Office. Breakfast and dinner will be provided at the guesthouse, cooked by local village women. WiFi is not available at the accommodation.

Activity Timing*: Winter Vacation (June - July), Session 2 (September)

Activity length: 4 weeks

PACE Units*: ARTS3000, LAWS4052, LAWS8099, MQBS3000, SSCI3010, GEOP3800

*Please note: unit availability, timing and activities are dependent on partner needs and are subject to change. Not all units are offered each session.

Location and highlights 

PACOS is an acronym for ‘Partners of Community Organizations in Sabah’ who have been operating out of Kampung Tuavon for over 25 years. Situated in the biological hotspot of Sabah, Malaysia, PACOS are passionate about preserving their traditional way of life.

Students will experience a 4-5 day field trip to the outlying villages of Sabah. The field trips provides students with the rare opportunity to view and experience the amazing remote areas  including the breathtaking forests of the Maliau Basin and the Danum Valley Conservation Area. They will also meet and engage with the local communities and observe a way of life not readily seen on the tourist trail. Conditions can be physically demanding, but the professional and personal experience is very rewarding.

Previous Activities


Students collated evidence and data on the social and economic history of an indigenous community based in Sabah for a report on native customary rights (NCR). Through their work, the students helped to preserve the story of the community and to aid PACOS Trust in providing legal advice.

LawStudents created documentation to preserve institutional knowledge of successful native title claims. This included a review and analysis of the recorded material, along with an interview of legal professionals and community elders.
Social researchStudents researched and documented a language that is only spoken in the Kiau Forest. The boundary of the community was eroding due to deforestation and it was feared the community’s connection to the forest language might disappear. Students documented the reason the language is different in the forest and used it as a tool for the future preservation of the forest.
Social researchWorking with 6 different villages in Sabah, students developed a social impact assessment on the proposed establishment of a hydro electric dam in a remote and pristine area of Sabah. The dam would impact on the displacement of over 2000 indigenous people residing in the area. The aim of the students' report was to look at alternatives to the dam and the social impacts on local communities if it were to proceed.
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