If it wasn't for a TAFE project and desire to help other men doing it tough, Dubbo's popular Dads for Kids event might never have been created 10 years ago.
Jason Yelverton was studying at the time and had been through a marriage breakdown before he came up with the idea to start an event which linked fathers up with support services and offered families a fun day out.
"When I came to work at [community service provider] Uniting we were talking about things we could do for men and I said 'this is something I've designed in class'," Mr Yelverton said.
After that conversation Uniting's free Dads for Kids event was born and on Sunday an estimated 800 community members turned up at the Dubbo Showground to mark the milestone.
Mr Yelverton, his three daughters and partner Nicole were among those in attendance.
"Blokes traditionally don't talk a lot about their feelings," he said.
"When they fought wars, men went away and were told to be strong and then came home and were told not to talk about what happened. These are our fathers and grandfathers.
"And from our parents we learn how we deal with difficult situations.
"We see men not knowing how to deal with a difficult situation will often lash out and make the situation 20 times worse."
Mr Yelverton said men should feel comfortable expressing vulnerability and see it as a part of masculinity - not as something which overshadowed it.
"I guess by doing this I wanted to have all services available for men to access but also other things to draw men in," he said.
A jumping castle, reptile show and free ball giveaway helped keep kids entertained at the event, while a range of local groups showcased services fathers could learn more about and access.
Former detective sergeant Craig Semple attended the event and spoke about what led him to reach out for support.
"I started having really bad nightmares after a few homicides I'd been to and a lot of other stuff," he said.
"I knew I had post traumatic stress disorder but I didn't put my hand up to get help.
"There was a real stigma associated with it and I didn't want people to think I was weak so I kept it secret and a result of that, eight years down the track I had a really bad psychological breakdown."
Mr Semple ended up with a major depressive disorder and urged Dubbo men not to ignore warning signs and get professional medical help early.
"I used alcohol as a coping strategy... it's not a good thing to tap into," the now recovered mental health crusader said.