It sounded like a thunder storm was coming when almost 200 motorcycle riders rolled into Mungery Hall on Sunday.
(min cost $8)
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The Black Dog Ride arrived just in time for the family fun day hosted in the rural district of Mungery, south-west of Narromine
With the drought affecting much of the region, the day was for people to get together, have some fun and enjoy a chat about anything that might be going on in their lives.
Riders from the Central Coast, the Hunter Valley, Sydney, Moree, Nyngan, Bourke, Coonamble and Peak Hill were among the 193 riders that took part in the Dubbo Black Dog Ride 1 Dayer.
Black Dog Ride Dubbo/NSW coordinator Wayne Amor said the decision to visit Mungery was to kick-start tough conversations and encourage people to seek assistance, rather than just raising funds.
"With everything that's going on, and all the bad stuff that goes with the drought, you hear of farmer suicide, mental health and depression around the rural communities, so we thought this would be a perfect spot to come," he said.
"We came here to give the community a bit of hope, and to let people know there's a bit of a light at the end of the tunnel if they're in a dark spot.
"Raising awareness about depression and suicide is the key to getting on top of these things, and shift what is a taboo subject."
Talking about mental health was a two way street and something we all should do, Mr Amor said.
"The message is to make sure you try to find that person, or people that will listen if you need to chat about how you're feeling, whether it's Lifeline or somebody that you know a neighbour or workmate," he said.
"And keep an eye out for your friends too, a lot of people don't know the signs of what form depression takes, but there's a lot of books a lot of literature, you can google it on the internet, there's lots of different ways to find this kind of information out there."
The Mungery event was sponsored by the National Association of Loss and Grief (NALAG) NSW's Our Shout Program, the Department of Primary Industries Rural Resilience Program, the Black Dog Ride and the Australian Red Cross, and aims to support drought-affected communities.
There was something for everyone including a free barbecue and soft drinks, children's entertainment including a dunking machine, a friendly cricket match between Mungery and Tomingley, a coffee van, old tractors and live entertainment from Brad Haling and Emma Roberts.
The Black Dog Riders also made a surprise announcement, that Dubbo Telstra donated $1000 to provide a mobile phone booster to improve connectivity in the area.
"The Telstra Dubbo store was generous enough to get in touch with us this year to make a donation for a couple of the raffle prizes," Mr Amor said.
"I suggested because I knew there was no mobile service out this way if they would be interested in donating a mobile phone booster for the clubhouse and the hall, and they came on board no worries at all."
"It's about a $1000 donation right there, but it's a bit of a surprise."
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