A soccer game to build trust between Albury-Wodonga police and multicultural communities is being held this weekend.
NSW and Victorian police, and players from the Border's Congolese, Bhutanese and Nepalese communities will play in Saturday's tournament at the end of World Refugee Week.
Albury Wodonga Ethnic Community Council community advocacy officer Richard Ogetii said the match would be fun and friendly to build partnerships between different community groups and the police.
"Some of the community members, from where they've come from, there's always that mistrust of government officers," he said.
"Especially when you talk about people from refugee backgrounds, they're here because the governments' have failed, so it takes a lot of effort to be able to erase some of those memories and misconceptions, so that they can know that here in Australia you can trust a police officer."
Bhutanese player Govinda Dahal said in his country, people ran the opposite direction when they saw the police.
"It is a big thing for us to play with the police," he said.
"It's like we don't have to get scared of them, we can trust the police and build a rapport with them.
"It's a great opportunity to all of us."
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Wodonga senior sergeant Shane Martin said it was important to engage with multicultural people.
"They live in our community, they're part of our community," he said.
"It will give us a bit of an understanding of what they deem to be important in some of their cultures.
"We learn from them and vice versa they learn from us."
Sergeant Martin said the game would break down barriers between different communities and the police.
"What they think is acceptable around their culture may not be acceptable around our culture and our law," he said.
"So that's why we try to say these are the rules ... so if people do come into our custody or we do have interactions with them, they know what the process is going to be and they don't think they're going to get locked up and never get seen again by their family again.
"And other little things, like if their house gets broken into, we return the property. I've heard stories that they think the police keep their property and take it, whereas obviously the property is returned."
Congolese community member Patrick Sibomana is the co-founder of the Simba football team, a team of united African nationals, which will play in the tournament.
He said soccer's universality connected diverse communities and made them feel welcome in Australia, so it was an appropriate choice to engage communities with police.
"When I came to Australia five years ago I wasn't speaking English like this, but I joined the club here in Wodonga," he said.
"It helped me to improve my English, it helped me to connect with people, to engage more, so I feel it is the same for these kids who are being engaged and playing with their clubs locally."
Mr Sibomana said with the game on the last day of Refugee Week it was also a chance to recognise how players from refugee backgrounds supported the Border's soccer leagues.
"These people are being supportive of this community," he said.
"Those kids are helping their clubs to win cups together with the other Aussie men, so it's really important that we acknowledge that as well, and acknowledge that here they found refuge where they could not find it else where."
The event starts at 12.30pm at Lavington's Melrose Park.
The Simbas football club (united African team) will kick off against the Tristar football club (Bhutanese and Nepalese team) at 1 pm.
Following that Victoria police will play against NSW police supported by players from the first game.
A barbeque lunch will be provided. Spectators from the broader community are welcome.
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