PACOS Trust is a community-based organization dedicated to supporting indigenous communities in Sabah.
PACOS Trust sees itself as an organization that strives to empower indigenous communities through systematic building and strengthening of community organizations, which can act collectively on its own. They also realized the need to support networking among organizations struggling to assert right over community resources and revitalizing indigenous systems which is what they are currently striving to do.

Students interested in PACOS Trust should consider that living conditions are clean and safe, but can be very basic (squat toilets, bucket showers, sleeping on flooring, etc)

For more information about this organisation please refer to the PACOS Trust website.

Meet our alumni

Perri Reynolds, Winter Vacation 2018, PACOS Trust

What do you study and where did you go on your PACE International activity?

Bachelor of Laws/Bachelor of Arts, majoring in Criminology – Sabah, Malaysia (PACOS Trust)

What was your role or project at your host organisation?

My role at PACOS Trust was to act as a Legal Intern in relation to matters of Native Title Land Rights in Sabah and to ultimately produce a report including a case study of a local communities’ struggle in protecting their land rights against corporation interference.

What attracted you to the PACE International program?

What initially attracted me to undertaking PACE International was the prospect of being able to put my legal skills and knowledge to the test within an international setting, and having the opportunity to help benefit communities in Sabah seemed like the perfect chance to do that. However, ultimately, I would say that what really attracted me to undertaking PACE International was the prospect of challenging myself to do something different and to step outside my comfort zone.

What advice would you give a student who is thinking of applying for a PACE International activity?

Definitely do it. I cannot think of a single reason why you shouldn’t apply for a PACE International opportunity. It has literally been life changing, invigorating, and has shaped me as a human more so than I would care to admit!

What was the best part of your PACE International experience?

The friendships I made and the confidence that undertaking the activity gave me in pursuing a career in law. That and the amazing food whilst I was over in Malaysia!

Unit info

*Please note that the unit availability, timing and activities are always subject to change

PACE unitUnit timingOverseas activity timingPrevious activity examples
LAWS452/LAWS899Session 2Winter Vacation (before unit)Assisting indigenous communities to record the social and economic history and connection to their land for Native Customary Rights (NCR) claims.
SSCI301Session 2 (same time as activity)Session 2Working with 6 different villages in Sabah to develop a social impact assessment on the proposed establishment of a hydroelectric dam in a remote and pristine area of Sabah.
GEOP380Session 2 (same time as activity)Session 2Research and documenting a language that is only spoken in the Kiau Forest. The boundary of the community is eroding due to deforestation and the community’s connection to the forest language might disappear. Students will document the reason the language is different in the forest and hopefully use it as a tool for the future preservation of the forest.
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