Trust us to pick the wettest day of the year so far to have our Christmas Party starting at the Exeter Croquet Club! The unfortunate, but sensible, decision was made to cancel this part of the event and move to the Tap House in Moss Vale a bit earlier than planned.  We had a good roll up there for a very convivial evening scoffing tapas and quaffing craft beers.  My thanks to Martin Fenaughty in particular for organising both venues, and Lyndall Dalley for her promotion and administration efforts.  We will try to reinstate a croquet afternoon some time next year before daylight saving ends.
I managed to squeeze in attendance at the Triple Care Farm Graduation Day in what has been quite a busy week.  It is hard not to be impressed by the outcomes of this facility run by Mission Australia and funded to a large extent by the Sir David Martin Foundation.  My understanding of the statistics this year is that they have engaged with over 400 young adults at risk of which around 120 were via the new detox centre at David Martin Place.  Of these 120, nearly 80% completed the program and, of these, 60% went on to do the 12-week residential program at TCF.  As usual, the 30 or so graduates were the highlight of the day with some outstanding presentations both verbal and musical.
Finally, with the help of Pru Goward and her staff we have made some progress with rearrangement of the Community Building Partnerships grant.  The CBP administration team are now proposing that our grant be rolled into the larger Stronger Country Communities grant so that our March 31 2019 spending deadline no longer applies.  Provided the Council agrees and RCBD gets suitable undertakings on the use of the funds and adequate recognition at Berrima Marketplace, this should be a reasonable outcome for all concerned.  Thank you Pru!
I would like to wish all Members and Friends and their respective families a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.  See you back on deck on the 16th of January.
Derek White
President RCBD