As tensions and debate over the date of Australia Day bubble in communities across Australia, one of Albury’s top cops said they weren’t expecting any heated debates on the Border this January 26.
Albury Chief Inspector Kim Sorensen said the region was a great example of the future of Australia Day celebrations which honour the country’s Indigenous past.
“The Aboriginal community here are a part of our ceremony, they perform the welcome to county at the naturalisation or citizenship ceremony and perform a dance to welcome the new citizens,” he said.
“It showcases the fact the community is quite progressive in that we’re taking it a step further and looking at the future rather than the past.”
Chief Inspector Sorensen believes Australia Day was a hugely emotive day in the country for indigenous and non-indigenous people, but on the Border he saw the whole community working together regardless of race.
On January 26, police officers and citizens will come together regardless of race to fight alongside each other for the glory of their state.
NSW Police and members of the local Indigenous community will line up side-by-side and face off against their Victorian counterparts.
“It fosters the relationship between the community,” Chief Inspector Sorensen said.
“In the past the relationship between police and many indigenous populations were strained.
“It’s just gone ahead in leaps and bounds in this part of the world to the point we’re not looking at one another as cops or indigenous people we just see members of the community.”
Chief Inspector Sorensen said the friendly match creates a level of comfort among players.
“It’s not necessarily that it’s on Australia Day that’s important, it’s the fact that it is happening at all,” he said.
“It shows that the local Aboriginal community is just one with the community.”
Chief Inspector Sorensen said across Australia Day anti-social behaviour, excess alcohol consumption and drink-driving would not be tolerated.