Caring for the Community

Whitehorse News - March 2021

Understanding is the key for Liz

Leading Senior Constable LizSidiropoulos has been an ongoing presence in the Whitehorse community for almost two decades in her role as a multicultural liaison officer with Victoria Police.

You on ly need to talkto Liz for a few minutes before grasping just how enthusiastic she is about her role with VictoriaPolice and the impact it can have on local communities.

Joining the police force in 1988, she became the multicultural liaison officer in 2003.

Based at various police stations across the Eastern Region, Liz is ever-present in the area, speaking to countless communities in Eastern Division 1, which covers Whitehorse, Monash, Manningham and Boroondara.

“It’s community engagement and supports both our established multicultural community groups, as well as our new and emerging community groups, including refugees,” she said.

“My role involves face-to-face meetings with community leaders from CALD (culturally and linguistically diverse) backgrounds and presentations on the roles police do.”

These meetings can cover anything from how Victoria Police differs from police forces around the world, to crime and safety tips, crime trends, road safety, pedestrian safety, family violence and elder abuse.

Working as part of the team at the Proactive Policing Unit, Liz said she loved her job.

“It’s really rewarding to work when you know… you can help different community groups,” she said. “It’s so rewarding that I can do that with and on behalf of Victoria Police.”

Liz also ensures local police members take part in meetings and that they learn about the different groups’ cultures and backgrounds.

“We want to make sure the community understand we do work differently, that we are community-engagement focused,” she said. “We don’t want people to be afraid of approaching us because of the uniform and all the equipment we or PSOs carry.

“I strongly believe that when there is understanding… it improves our service delivery to the community. A little bit of knowledge about a person’s background can make all the difference when dealing with the public, developing cultural sensitivity.”