High Notes, Vol 14 No 25, August 16 2013

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From the Principal

High Talent
The results from the NSW All Schools Cross Country Running Carnival have been confirmed. High’s U14 team earned a bronze medal – a significant achievement at state level. Congratulations to: Luke and Jayden Schofield, Elliot Love and Kevin Guo. Despite missing a leading runner on the day, the U17 team finished 4th – a creditable result.

Tell Them From Me Survey
The ‘Tell Them From Me Survey’ protects the anonymity and privacy of all respondents. The survey opens on August 19 and closes on August 26.There is a PowerPoint on the student portal which outlines the sorts of questions that are included in the survey. Two Award Scheme points are on offer for those who complete the survey online. Students should:

  • Log into the Student Portal
  • Click the “Student Survey: Tell them from me” link in the Portal Services menu
  • View their survey username and password
  • Visit the survey website at http://nsw.tellthemfromme.com and log in to the survey using their survey username and password
  • Complete the survey responsibly and submit it as per the directions

I urge all students to complete the online survey during the next week.

Enrolments Years 8, 9, 11 for 2014
The assessment process has now been completed and Assessors’ meetings held. Final rank order lists have been prepared. Nineteen staff members participated in the process. I thank them all for their dedication and prompt collegial effort. Year 8 interviews have been held. Interviews for Years 9 and 11 will be held during the next week or so. Reserve List letters are being sent for Year 8 students and this week all unsuccessful letters will be posted.

Prefect Elections
Nominations for the ballot were declared this week. Applicants who were vetoed exercised their opportunity to appeal. Most appeals were successful - on the proviso that by 30.11.2013, not only will the applicants reach their Platinum Award target, but also they will have earned 100 Award Scheme points in this calendar year. For attendance vetos there will be a test applied by 30.11.2013 to ensure that Prefect Interns have high standard records of attendance and punctuality since August 1. Appeals on academic grounds required two testimonials from current teachers supporting their candidacy and affirming their responsible work habits and good standard of achievement.

Sport Obligations During Examination Periods
During Year examinations, formal training sessions during the week are cancelled to allow boys to study, do their examinations and rest. Nonetheless, Saturday commitments to sport competition are enforced. It is unfair for boys who are doing the right thing to be punished because others have stayed home to study. They get an advantage of extra time spent. Students should meet their representative sport commitments, even during examination periods.
Dr K A Jaggar

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From the Office

Early Leave

If your son has an early leave note he is required to have his note signed by either Mr Barris, Mr Dowdell or Mr Prorellis before 8:55 am and handed in to the Main Office immediately after. Each letter should be signed by a parent or guardian with the name, date and roll class of your son printed clearly.  Your son needs to pick up a leave pass from the Main Office before he leaves the school.

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SBHS Debating

Last Friday we hosted Shore and won 10/14 competitive debates including all of the Senior Debates – well done, boys.  It was certainly a busy evening and I thank all the parents who helped out - especially Craig Phillis (our DSG President), Glynnis Bartley, Eden Freiberg and Nina Ilina. We had some interesting educational topics which meant some boys had to argue that we should bring back the cane and some that the wealthy should be able to buy their way into University.

This week we have a week off hosting which is welcome news. We will be debating at Riverview. I have organised a bus to take students at 4.45. Please do not be late because we do not want to forfeit any debates and traffic will be busy at this time. I would request a $5 contribution to the cost of the bus hire. Christopher Chiam will travel on the bus with the students. The bus will return after the Junior Debates finish which will be at about 8pm. We will ensure it does a drop off at Central on the way back to school. I will assume everyone is coming on the bus unless anyone tells me they are making their own way there. Next week: 23rd August will be the last Home debate and because it will be against Grammar we will be expecting big audiences for the debates.

It is unfortunate that the Year 11s have been knocked out of the Premiers Debating Competition. Bad luck, boys. Still with 3/3 wins in GPS so far you can set your eyes on another prize!

We have rescheduled the Debating Dinner for the following day - so that's Sunday 8th September.  Some people have already ordered their tickets which is good news. Last year we were full to capacity, but many people left ticket purchases to the very last minute. This makes our planning very difficult so please, if you intend to come, ensure you purchase your ticket in good time.

Please remember if you have not signed up for the debating email yet you can do so by sending me an email with your son’s name and Year group to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .
Rachel Powell
MIC Debating

This week saw an extremely successful round against Shore with High winning 10 out of 14 debates. Well done, boys!

This week saw our debaters arguing on the topic area of ‘education’. Whilst it sounded like a generic topic area, the actual set topics were anything but that! Some of the interesting ones we saw this week were our Year 7 teams debating on “We should allow teachers to use the cane on students”. I’m sure it would have been quite an interesting discussion!

Our seniors debated on the extremely difficult topic “That we should allow students to join university courses when they achieve below the ATAR cut-off if they can pay more than the full fee of the course” (Something along those lines, it was a long topic). On what seemed to be a negatively weighted topic, our 1sts, 2nds and 3rds (A coin toss decides the sides and we were affirmative on two and negative on one) all won their respective debates highlighting the versatility of our senior debaters. An excellent effort!

It was very encouraging to see junior debaters coming along to support the 1st grade. It provides a lovely atmosphere but is also one of the best learning experiences for all our up and coming debaters!

This week we are away against Riverview and I wish all the teams best of luck!

Tip of the week: There will always be some debates where you struggle to come up with arguments, especially for topics that are outside the box. Never panic in these situations. Try and go back to basics and identify every stakeholder (i.e. groups of people affected by the topic in question) and look at the way the topic could have either positive/negative impacts on these groups. By doing so, you will often be able to develop some meaningful and persuasive arguments.
Khushaal Vyas 
Debating Prefect

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Music Notes

Composition Recording dates: Thursday 23rd & Friday 24th of August (compositions are to be completed as performers and ensembles need time to practise). Please see allocated time on music noticeboards. Composition diaries are to be handed in to Ms Miller by Friday 24th of August.

The HSC showcase will be held on Monday 26th of August in the GREAT HALL starting at 5pm. This is an opportunity for you to come, hear and view the students work!!! PLEASE COME AND SUPPORT YOUR PEERS!!! Staff are welcome to see an extraordinary showcase of amazing talent! 

To all boys who store their instruments in the music storage room: please place your instruments under the correct labels and make sure the door is closed at ALL TIMES for security purposes.

ALL ENSEMBLES START AT 7:45AM (unless stated otherwise). Remember a ROLL is TAKEN, and 80% of ATTENDANCE is required. PLEASE REMEMBER to pack up after rehearsals (tidy up the room/and stands back on rack). Please remember PRACTICE DAILY, if only for 20 minutes is required for you to develop your awesome musical skills and make your music tutor happy. Practice makes PERFECT!!!!!

The 2013 ensemble rehearsal timetable is provided below:

Time Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
Morning rehearsals
stated otherwise
Intermediate Concert Band
Room 201
Chamber Choir
Room 201
Junior Stage Band  
Room 201
Senior String Ensemble
Room 101
Symphony Orchestra  
Room 201
  Senior  Stage Band
Room 101
  Intermediate Stage Band
Room 101
Senior Concert Band
Room 201
Saxophone Ensemble
Room 201 8:45am
  Training Concert Band
Room 202

Terms 2, 3, 4
  Philharmonic Orchestra
Room 208
  Marching Band
TERM 1 & 4
  Junior String Ensemble
Room 208
  Woodwind Ensemble
Room 202 
Afternoon rehearsals
Start @ 3.30pm
  Marching Band
TERM  1 & 4
3.30 - 4.30pm
    Jazz Ensemble
Room 201
    Percussion Ensemble
Room 201
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Cyber Safety Survey 2013

Results of the Parent Survey on Cyber Safety 2013

Surveys were distributed at 2013 Parent Teacher night and the following range of questionnaires were completed and handed in:

Year 7 = 11; Year 8 = 11; Year 9 = 18; Year 10 = 3 and Year 11 = 5 and Year 12 = 7. This is a disappointingly low response, but I have proceeded with the calculations. I urge parents, in future, when you get an opportunity to give feedback via school surveys please do so. It provides us with important feedback about your son and the school and allows us to plan more effectively. 

I feel the small sample in Year 10 means it is not worth including in the survey and that it is sensible to join the Year 11 and Year 12 responses together for a senior sample.

Not every question was answered on every questionnaire, but all responses were included in the calculations.

Computer Usage

Location of Computer
In Year 7 slightly over 50% of respondents have their computers in a shared space as opposed to slightly under 50% whose computers were in the boy’s room.  This pattern was markedly different in Year 8 with 82% of families having their computer in a shared space as opposed to only 18% in their son’s room. In Year 9 47% of boys have computers in their own rooms compared to 53% in either a shared or dedicated room. At Senior level 72% of boys have their computers in their own room.

For the key reason that it allows monitoring to take place, the advice to parents is that computers should be in a shared or designated space rather than a child’s bedroom. The only Year group where this advice seems to be being heeded is in Year 8.

Game Consoles
The variety of game consoles reduced throughout Years 7-12 suggesting that as they move towards the senior Years on-line games through the internet are preferred. The potential harms associated with MMORPG (Massively multiplayer online role-playing games) should be highlighted here.

Computer Usage – time
The questionnaire gives a choice of five time groupings. For reporting I have used the last three categories as ‘high’ usage for a weekday (ie 3 hours and above) and the last two groupings on a weekend ( ie 5 hours and above).  This is a purely subjective decision.

Based on this I am particularly concerned about Year 7 whose relatively high usage places them on an equal footing with the Seniors during the week (whose results are also concerning) and over and above the other Junior Years at the weekend. 

  High usage on a weekday High usage at the weekend.
7 64% 27%
8 36% 18%
9 50% 20%
Seniors 64% 73%

Computer Usage – limits
In Year 7 64% of parents tell their sons to get off the computer when they feel he has been using it for too long, this is 55% in Year 8; 82% in Year 9 and 50% in Seniors.  Only in Year 7 and in Seniors were there parents who were allowing their sons to use the computer ‘as much as he wants.’

A very clear message from experts is that parents should agree set times to use computers with their children.  It is thus concerning that this message does not seem to be getting through.

Computer Usage – Late at night
Parents were given four choices. For ease of interpreting I have collated these into two:

How often is your son up late at night using the computer?
  Never and Rarely Sometimes and Regularly
7 70% 30%
8 70 % 30%
9 50% 50%
Seniors 50% 50%

Computer Uses

In all Years there is a fairly even distribution between activities being used on the computers. The range of activities increases throughout the Years. So in Year 7 computers are being used for on-line games, downloading and educational activities. By Year 8 computers are just as much used for social networking and emailing. By Year 9 educational usage and on line gaming are the most popular use for the computers, but they are still being used for these other uses and by Senior level there is the addition of on-line banking and internet shopping.

Cyber Safety

Parental Knowledge
How would you rate your knowledge about children’s cyber safety issues?

  Well or somewhat informed Slightly or uninformed.
7 80% 20%
8 82% 18%
9 83% 17%
Seniors 73% 27%

Parental Concern
Which one of the following best describes your level of concern about the safety risks to your child while they are using the internet and mobile phones?

  Very and Fairly Not very and not at all
7 90% 10%
8 80% 20%
9 78% 22%     
Seniors 64% 33%

Parent and Son Communication
In all Year groups (apart from in Year 8) the majority of parents have discussed some of the risks with their sons. A lesser number (in all but Year 8 where there was an equal number)   of parents who had discussed the risks and also planned ways to reduce and minimise them.  Very few parents have not discussed the risks with their sons.

Measures and rules implemented to undertake the risks when using the internet.
The most popular response in all Year groups was regularly installing and updating anti virus protection software which does nothing to protect children from the types of harms we are concerned about. In Years  7 -9 a range of useful measures are taken such as being nearby or sitting with their son while they are online; ensuring the computer is located in an open area; checking website visited by the boys and using a filter to block inappropriate content.  These measures are used to a much more limited extent with Seniors.

Personal Safety
There was almost no reporting of problems in Years 7-8 in the last 12 months.  However, each of the suggested problems had been experienced by one or two families overall, except receiving threatening or bullying emails or SMS and incurring financial loss via responding to unsolicited emails or messages.  Therefore, out of our sample of 52 students there have been incidents of private or personal information being posted on blogs or social networking sites; accessing inappropriate websites and materials; sending or receiving inappropriate messages and engaging in on-line gambling.

Awareness of cyber safety Information
The most well-known source was ‘Cyber smart’ with 12 parents stating an awareness of it.  Only four parents said they had heard of ‘Bullying no way’. There was either no awareness of ThinkUKnow; Let’s Fight it Together; Wise up to it; Smart on Line Safe; Stay smart online bud.e modules.  No one suggested any other sources of cyber safety information.  This lack of awareness is worrying and is something we can address at school.


In Year 7 50% of parents control what games their son’s purchase; 21% monitor their son’s computer usage, and another 29% let their sons play what they want.  In Year 8 only 9% control what games are purchased 55% monitor the computer usage and 36% are allowed to play what they want. In Year 9 74% control the games that are purchased and 21% monitor computer usage and only 5% are allowed to play what they want. At senior level 27% control what games are purchased, 18% monitor computer usage and 55% are allowed to play what they want.

Therefore Year 9 stands out as the anomaly in a pattern of decreasing parental control over gaming which is what we would expect as boys get older. However, with 29% and 36% of Years 7 and 8 students having no parental restrictions on the types of games they play, there is a sizeable minority of students in the Junior School with potential access to overly violent, sexually explicit and possibly addictive games.

Buying computer games
In Year 7 100% of games are bought by parents. In Years 8 and 9 pocket money is also being used by boys to buy their own games. At senior level boy also have part time jobs which they use to buy their own games.

These figures fit with an expected pattern of increasing financial independence in adolescents and when cross referenced with the results above helps explain decreasing parental control over gaming purchases.
Rachel Powell
Chair of Cyber Management Committee

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From the High Store

AUGUST SALE - Ends 30th Aug           

Zoot Suit original design – great for training NOW $40 limited sizes
20% OFF Rugby Training Mesh - purchase for next year at a reduced price $44
HIGH Basketball Tee – only 6 Size M left NOW $15

Sydney High Hoodie $66
Golf Umbrella $33
25% off  S.H.S Number plate covers  NOW $29.95
30% Off S.H.S Cuff Links NOW $11

Ms Gentele
High Store

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From the Canteen

Unfortunately Canteen has lost a few volunteers this term due to changes in work commitments.  If you have any time that you could volunteer at the canteen, please contact Karen or Tracey on Ph: 9360 4027.

Thanks to the volunteers last week.

MON: Yoshi K-Leong, Pam Jepson, Dongmin Zhao, Usha Arvind
TUE: Todd May, Pauline Chan, Annette Ng,
WED: Lan Li, Jenny Chiu, Cindy Tseu,
THUR: Annie Long, Ha Tran, Bernadette Snow,
FRI: Frances Salmon, Soogie Sim,
The Canteen Team

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From the Junior Library


2 Library events will be happening in the next 2 weeks:

1 – Author visit
Scot Gardner will be visiting Sydney Boys library! At the moment we have these five of Scot’s books and our Librarians are reading them at the moment.  Some Year 9 boys are also reading them to tell you what they think on the day.  So far Mrs Crothers is really impressed with Scot Gardner’s Burning Eddy and thinks he is a great boys author.

Our annual author’s visits are a Literacy initiative.

2 - 2013 Library Amateur Chess Competition
Who can join? All students except students already in the chess club
Where: In the Junior Library
When: Qualifier begin Monday 26 August (Week 7C)
How: Sign up in the Junior Library from this Monday

This winner will receive a A BAG OF LOLLIES


Thanks to Meredith Thomas, our Library Assistant, who donated The Count of Monte Cristo in both DVD and book format to our Junior Library.  Meredith also donated The Australian Presents Australia’s First Century.

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SBHS ‘Bring Your Own Device’ Program

In 2014 students in Year 9 will be requested to bring their own computing device to school every day.

This Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) program replaces the Digital Education Revolution scheme that has ended.

What is BYOD?

Bring Your Own Device, or BYOD, is a technological trend in education and in the corporate world.

BYOD recognises that technology and choices about technology are very much personal.

BYOD acknowledges technology in education means more than meeting specific curriculum requirements.

BYOD is designed to give you, as students and families, freedom to make technology choices that suit you and all your circumstances.

How will it work?

In 2014 students in Year 9 will be expected to bring their own computing device to school every day.

We will be making recommendations later this year as to the model of device you may choose to bring.

Or you can bring something of your own choosing that meets our Device Specification.

There is also some software that you have must on the device. In most cases there are free options for software.

You will be required to sign a User Charter that sets out how the device can be used at school.

A member of the school staff, the Bring Your Own Device Service Officer, will be available to answer questions and to give assistance.

However, the school does not manage, support, own or warranty the device - it's your device.

Find out more

A letter has been sent to families of Year 8 students to launch the Bring Your Own Device program.

Visit the Sydney Boys High School BYOD Program Portal to learn about device and software requirements, view the policy drafts and see answers to common parental concerns:


You can send questions, comments and feedback to:

This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

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SHS OBU High Achievers Event

Senior students, this is your opportunity to gain valuable insights from some of our School’s leading old boy ‘High Achievers’ at a special event at the School on Thursday, 5 September 2013.

This special evening of presentations and discussions, conducted by the Sydney High School Old Boys’ Union, will enable current students and your parents to mix with and seek advice from successful old boys in business, medicine, law, public service, sport and other fields.

Hear these High Achievers talk about their lives, particularly their experiences at university, in their careers and in the community. They will discuss their motivations and how they overcame adversities to become successful.

You can’t afford to miss this informative and valuable evening:

  • Hear from High Achievers how they did it
  • Learn how to motivate yourself and address challenges
  • Meet potential mentors who can help you apply your talents
  • Discuss your future with leaders in business, the professions and the community
  • Connect with the unrivalled High alumni network.

This is a rare chance to network with a large gathering of successful old boys, together at your School, eager to talk to you, their future High alumni. Take the time to consider your future and how to become a High Achiever.

Places are limited. Register now to avoid missing out:

When: Thursday, 5 September 2013 from 5:30 to 8.30pm
Where: The Great Hall at SBHS
Tickets: Student $21; Student & one family member $42; Student & 2 family members $52 (includes light food & refreshments).

Register or seek more information at www.bighighobuevent.org.au

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Message from the Sportsmaster

Summary of Sports Policy and Follow up Procedures

Summer sport selections are coming up very soon. Ensure you fully understand what is expected of you if you sign up to a Saturday AAGPS sport.  The full sports policy is on the schools website under the ‘Sports’ dropdown menu. http://www.sydneyboyshigh.com/sport/sport-policy

  • If you sign up to a sport you are expected to commit to that sport for the whole season
  • All students are to nominate via the online system for the sport and your preferred team; however, final team selections will be subject to selection trials.
  • If you select a Saturday AAGPS sport- and you are successful in making a team you are expected to attend all of the training sessions
    • A/B teams- 3 training sessions a week (including 1 sport session)
    • C/D/E/F teams- 2 training sessions a week (including 1 sport session)
    • All other sports- 2 training sessions a week (including 1 sport session)
    • Weights/Sprints etc are counted as a session
    • The MIC of your sport will inform you of when/where your training sessions are. This information will also be in your student portal
  • Saturday Absence- If you are absent from Saturday due to a legitimate reason:
    • If you know ahead of time- speak to the MIC of your sport and tell your coach
    • Go to student portal and submit that you will be absent in the week leading up to the match
    • or a minimum of one hour before your game starts on a Saturday
    • Follow this up with a note from your parent/doctor explaining the absence
    • Put the note inside the ‘Saturday Absences’ box outside the PDHPE office by 9am sharp on the following Monday morning
    • Make sure the note has your full name, roll class and dates for your absence
  • Training absence- if you are absent from a training session
    • Bring a note and place it in the ‘Training Absences’ box outside the PDHPE office by 9am the next day you are at school.
    • What if you are injured/sick over a longer period of time? – Ensure the note has the full and accurate details on it including your name, roll class, start date & finish date for the absence
  • Training days
    • Most training sessions outside of school hours will occur on a Monday, Wednesday (Years 7-9) and Thursday (Years 10-12). Ensure you make these times available for your team training sessions.

Mr M Pavone

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SBHS Rugby

High Rugby = High Spirit

Please check out the updated Rugby website where all information on Rugby is located.  http://www.sydneyhigh.org.au/rugby/

High vs Shore

The games against Shore in the middle of the GPS season showed the strength of our junior teams. The senior teams did very well to be competitive in all three matches but unfortunately the depth of Shore proved too much.

Team of the week – 13As – A wonderful victory
Play of the week –.Bennette Jiang’s classic hit on an unsuspecting Shore 5th grader

14As team report
Upon arriving at Northbridge to play against Shore, the 14As knew that the upcoming match was going to be extremely competitive as several of the players were missing. It was a very hot and sunny day, so perseverance was going to play a major part in the game. Right from the kick-off, Shore played ferociously, tackling well and constantly contesting for the ball in the ruck. However, a mistake from the opposition led to High scoring the first points. Shore was later able to retaliate with a great try, and from then on it was a gruelling affair between both teams. We finished at halftime with a lead of three tries to one.

The second half would prove to be entirely different however, as the As retained possession of the ball for the majority of the game from winning the scrums and line-outs as well as maintaining solid defence. The rucks were also won consistently, and from this support, the backline was able to manoeuvre the ball and score multiple tries. Complemented by this were a few spectacular line breaks by Ervin Zhou, Anthony Xiao and David Kim. High was able to proudly walk off the field with a 55-12 win over the Shore side.
A Pham
14As captain


Rugby players and supporters please come down to the Rugby canteen, located next to McKay 1 at the Fairland Pavilion, and enjoy some great food while watching the home games.

Upcoming fixtures

17th of August – Joeys (A)
24th of August – Shore (H)
31st of August – Grammar (H)
7th of September – Scots (A)

Mr G Barris
MIC Rugby

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SHS Rowing Committee AGM


Date: Wednesday 21 August 2013
Venue: School Staff Common Room
Time: 7.00pm

Come and find out about new developments for the upcoming season.

Rowing is a great sport that High provides for your boys.  It also relies on parents to help facilitate the program. Every year we need new parents to become involved. 

All Office Bearer positions will be declared vacant and available for nomination and election.

All parents of rowing students are encouraged to attend the annual general meeting.

George Comninos
Committee President

Julie Blomberg
Rowing MIC

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Sydney Boys High School 2013 Debating Dinner

Date: Sunday 8th September, 2013
: The Great Hall, Sydney Boys High School
: 6pm
: Adults $30, Students $20, Children 11 years and under $15
: Adults may bring alcohol
Tickets: Available from the Front Office

Ticket sales close Monday 2nd September, 2013

*Come and watch our coaches as we test out their debating skills in ‘The Great Debate’!*

The SBHS 2013 Debating Dinner RSVP form is available 
in the PDF version of this edition of High Notes

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SBHS Open Day 2013

An invitation to prospective parents and students. Please take this opportunity to see our school in action. If you have siblings or friends in Years four and five who are interested in attending Sydney Boys High School could you please forward this information.

Open Day

Thursday 5 September
9:30am - 12:00 noon

Sydney Boys High School
Building personal capacity in gifted boys

Moore Park
Surry Hills NSW 2010

Ph: 9662 9300

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