BECOMING a tolerant and accepting community will be at the forefront of Refugee Week celebrations in Leeton this week.
For the first time an event has been planned in Leeton as part of the week, with all residents invited to a multicultural community celebration on Saturday.
There will be sporting and social activities on the day, as well as a free barbecue and cultural food.
Leeton has taken a step forward this year by becoming a Refugee Welcome Zone and a refugee support group has also been formed.
The idea for both stemmed from the town being in the unique position of being home to 70 Afghanistan men, who are in the country legally.
Mayor Paul Maytom has been acting as an advocate for the group, along with Afghani translator Abdullah Nazari.
The pair has been working together to help involve the men more in the community.
The idea behind the refugee support group is to bring together all nationalities and help them through the many facets of everyday life in Leeton.
"We want to help them be part of our community and get to know other people," councillor Maytom said.
"The other aim is to raise awareness of the issues that are affecting refugees in Leeton.
"By having a degree of closeness and understanding we are forming a friendship with these members of our community.
"We want to make it clear this is an event for the entire community and all refugees that live here."
Mr Nazari has been acting as a translator for the majority of the Afghanistan men, which has included conducting a families in cultural transition program as part of the NSW Service for the Treatment and Rehabilitation of Torture and Trauma Survivors (STARTTS).
He will be presented with a STARTTS humanitarian award at the Refugee Week gathering this weekend.
Mr Nazari said he was enjoying life in Leeton.
"It's a nice, friendly place," he said.
"I have a job here and I've made some good friendships."
The multicultural celebration will be held on Saturday at the St Francis College grounds from 11am to 2.30pm.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.