Koori men will get out on the fairways to experience the physical and mental health benefits of a social game of golf, as part of the first ever Mildura Koori Men’s Health Day on Friday.

Mallee District Aboriginal Services’ women’s pamper days are a popular attraction to connect Koori women to MDAS health and family services programs, with the most recent gathering last week attracting 55 women.

But MDAS Health spokesman Nathan Yates said Friday’s “Man Up” event would be the first aimed specifically at men, aged 16 and over.

“We’ll have a bit of a get together in the morning at the MDAS community hall, with speakers, information and the opportunity for the men to have free health checks,” Mr Yates said.

“It’s all aimed at having a bit of fun, getting blokes together and getting some information to them as well about physical and mental health programs,” he said.

“For some men, taking the first step inside the door of a health service is something they’ve avoided, so we’re trying to make it easy for them.”

The morning session will include lucky door prizes and men’s “pamper packs”, including toiletries, a t-shirt and some health essentials, as well as speakers and lunch to follow.

After lunch the men will hit the golf course at Riverside, for nine holes of social golf.

MDAS chief executive officer Rudolph Kirby said mental health was an important issue for Aboriginal men, because, although it was good for the individual, a focus on mental health also improved family life.

“Getting together with other men is good for the younger men, especially.  It’s good for them to catch up with elders and get to know them,” Mr Kirby said.

“Getting out and doing something together, whether it’s golf or fishing or any other sport or hobby, it gives fellas a chance to yarn about men’s business in a safe way,” he said.

“It’s important to catch up as men and enjoy the day, and to know there are others out there who want to listen and to help.”

Numbers are limited, but bookings can be made by contacting Nathan Yates at MDAS on (03) 5018 4100.