OUT AND ABOUT: Mildura and District Aboriginal Services Health Promotion officer, Jade Klaebe, and project officer Shanice Kuchel ahead of this Friday’s first Community Engagement Day at The Nowingi Place.

MALLEE District Aboriginal Services (MDAS) will take the unusual step of closing its Mildura offices this Friday, September 1, and instead offer its services direct to the community from The Nowingi Place.

The move forms part of the organisation’s first Community Engagement Day, which is aiming to reach out to people who might otherwise not access MDAS’s health, community and family services.

The focus is on health services, with free health checks, assessments and information, and a full range of MDAS services to be on-site.

“Our health services are really hitting the mark with the community, because we’ve had a 200 percent increase in the number of health checks at our clinics in the past four years,” MDAS project officer Shanice Kuchel said.

“It’s fantastic that people are coming through the doors, but we also know there are others who would benefit from our programs and support who haven’t initiated that contact yet.

“We wanted to make this Community Engagement Day fun and a little less intimidating than coming to the health service, so for some people it will be more comfortable to come along and meet us.”

The Community Engagement Day will offer cultural activities, face painting, a jumping castle, giveaways and a DJ.

Ms Kuchel said the number of episodes of health care provided by MDAS had doubled over the past four years, with a significant rise in the number of health, family and community services the organisation offered.

“We hope the Community Engagement Day will let people find out about some of the services we have here that can make a real difference for them,” Ms Kuchel said. “But it’s also a great chance for us to get some feedback from the community about the services we’re offering and how they are delivered.

“We already have a community advisory committee, but this is an opportunity to hear from the community at grass-roots level.”

Every person having a health check on the day will receive a food voucher and an opportunity to win prizes.