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In this issue

Message Stick, Term 3 Week 9 2020
Dates for your Calendar
Grill'd Charity of the Month
Heart, Mind, Life Awards
New After School Care provider – TheirCare
Library News
Sports News
Music News
Year 6 Market Day
Parenting Tips
School Banking
MYP - Middle Years Programme
NSW Health Message
Wilson Parking
NESA Exam Supervisors
Code Camp
Anglicare Food and Clothing Drive
Showcase: Into the Light
Step by Step
Andrean Writer, Artist and Composer (new) of the Year Competition
URSTRONG Parent Seminar
Gawura Doctor - Dr Shuo Zhao
Resources for COVID-19

Message Stick, Term 3 Week 9 2020


A very big thank you to all the Gawura parents and carers who were able to speak with their child’s classroom teacher last Friday. Thank you for sharing your short term goals as well for your children as this is a vital piece of the Personal Learning Plan (pathway) that every Indigenous student in the school is required to have. Thank you to those who were able to join us for GPAC last week. Your suggestions and recommendations around NAIDOC Week this year were very much appreciated.

We have a whole week of celebrations planned for our school and we thank Mrs Williams for the time she has already spent on putting this altogether. Tuesday 10 November will be our NAIDOC Assembly event and in the likely case that we may not be able to have any visitors in large numbers, we have plans in place to live stream this event like we did last year so everyone will not miss out.

The two photos below were taken from the Macquarie University CLS Program for Indigenous students. Last Friday’s lesson was about Kinship. Macqaurie University will present 6 lessons to our Indigenous secondary students throughout this year and continue to do the same in subsequent years. Indigenous lecturers from Macquarie Uni’s Walanga Muru present the lessons to our students. SACS Indigenous tudents who complete the course by Year 10 will receive a certificate and have the option to continue into a research project in Years 11 and 12 which will qualify them to receive a $1000 scholarship towards their chosen degree.

On Wednesday 2 August JSGS participated in the annual Indigenous Literacy Foundation Book Swap Day. This is an annual event that not only our K-6 school supports but also our high school from Yrs 7-12 also bring in books and donate funds raised to the Indigenous Literacy Foundation. I am delighted to say that across all three Gawura, Junior School and secondary schools we managed to raise a total of $1216 which has been donated to the ILF.

Mrs Robertson our JSGS Director of Music has taken possession of a number of pianos for our Gawura students to practice on at home. We will be in touch shortly with Gawura parents of students who are learning the piano to arrange a time for these to be delivered to your home address and installed by one of our Music staff members.

Please see further information below about the new After School Care service called Their Care who are now involved in our Junior and Gawura Schools. Their Care are offering their services for free to Gawura Scholarship students including Vacation Care during the upcoming school holidays. Please see insert below for details on how to register and enrol your child if you wish to use this service.

If your child is presenting with any cough or cold, flu like symptoms please keep them at home and see a doctor. All the students at school are highly aware of the safe hygiene practices that will help keep coronavirus out of our school. We are mindful of the current second wave that Victoria are going through right now but with continued safe hygiene practices we hope to continue to keep all of our students, staff and school community safe as well.

We are ‘in this together’ and together we can get through this.
Just a reminder that Gawura and Junior Schools will conclude Term 3 on Thursday 24 September. Friday 25 September will be a staff PD Day. School will return for all students on Monday 12 October for what will be a very busy Term 4.

Have a safe and pleasant fortnight ahead.

John Ralph
Head of Gawura



COVID-19 Restrictions and Term 3

Our current restrictions continue this term. Please click here for school procedures.

It is worthwhile for parents/carers to be aware of the following changes for Term 3:

  • Term 3 resumes Wednesday 22 July between 8am and 8.35am
  • School concludes at 3.10pm, students to be picked up by 3.30pm
  • Students who have returned from Victoria or overseas must self-isolate at home for 14 days and notify the school
  • Parents/carers and visitors are not permitted on school grounds or events unless by appointment. This includes not attending assemblies, presentations, events, training, carnivals whether on school grounds or off site venues
  • Term 3 Sport resumes this week; however, no spectators are permitted at this time - this includes parents/carers
  • The School encourages students and staff to wear masks when travelling by public transport
  • Assemblies and Chapels will remain online at the moment and resume later this term
  • Any student who is ill must not come to school

Dates for your Calendar


Wednesday 16 September, 1.30pm: URSTRONG Parent Seminar ONLINE

Wednesday 16 & Thursday 17 September, 7pm:  Showcase:
Into the Light Concert ONLINE

Thursday 17 September: JSGS Cross Country Carnival

Friday 18 September: Kindergarten Field Trip

Monday 21 September: JSGS EOT Awards

Thursday 24 September: End of Term 3 (K-6)

Friday 25 September: Staff Professional Development Day

Monday 12 October: Term 4 begins K-6

Friday 16 October, 7pm: Step by Step Dance Performance ONLINE


Grocery Deliveries

Please be aware that families who are receiving a WEDNESDAY GROCERY DELIVERY will not be receiving these deliveries during the school holidays. 


LAST DELIVERY TERM 3 - Wednesday 23 September

DELIVERIES RESUME TERM 4 - Wednesday 14 October


Grill'd Charity of the Month


It’s on again . . . grab a burger and help Gawura this month.

A huge thank you to Grill'd The Galeries in the CBD where Gawura are a charity of the month.

Please head in there some time in September for lunch and dinner with your loved ones and put your tokens in our jar.  It’s competitive...The more tokens we get, the bigger our donation!



Heart, Mind, Life Awards



Heart Awards
Bokhara Rossiter Kindy being a good friend on the playground
George Rose Kindy being a good friend on the playground
Latrell McGrath Year 1 taking care with written tasks
Maya Hughes Year 2 working hard to maintain consistent work habits
Graham Jackson Year 2 embracing his new love for drawing
Djani Haynes Year 2 embracing all learning challenges with love and courage
Jakayla Reid Year 3 excellent ideas and creativity in visual arts
Peter Brogan Year 6 being a responsible member of our class
Jada Caldwell Year 6 showing care toward others
Peter Brogan Year 6 being kind and courteous
Mind Awards
Yuin-River Johnson Kindy working hard to learn his sounds
Shane Jackson Kindy outstanding sentence writing
Zavier Reid Year 2 commitment to task completion
La Quaelah Roberts-Carr Year 3 reflecting in maths an understanding of what she can improve on
Talaara Simpson Year 3 thinking carefully in maths
Mizpah-Ann Klink Year 3 asking curious questions in English
La Quaelah Roberts-Carr Year 3 reflecting on her learning and being wise on what she can improve on
Jakayla Reid Year 3 being curious on how 3D shapes can be used in everyday life
Matilda Bray Year 4 making a good decision to carefully solve problems in maths
Sonny Rossiter Year 6 engaging in all lessons and trying his best
Joylara Ingram Year 6 quick mathematical recall
Joylara Ingram Year 6 applying herself to her learning
Joshua Morgan Year 6 applying himself to his learning
Life Awards
Shane Jackson Kindy working hard to learn his sounds
Yuin-River Johnson Kindy working hard in writing
Bokhara Rossiter Kindy enthusiastic participation in all aspects of school life
George Rose Kindy excellence in home reading
BJ Carr Year 1 maintaining consistent work habits in his school life
Bryden Walker Year 1 persistence in developing organisation skills
Eleanor-Rose Hammond Year 1 writing an excellent speech about her totem, the dolphin
Kallarah Silva Year 2 being a caring and helpful friend and for doing her best in all aspects of school life
Nyarla Gordon Year 2 always trying her best in all areas of school life
Talaara Simpson Year 3 enthusiastic participation in all lessons
Jakayla Reid Year 3 being persistent when solving mathematical problems
Jenarose Jackson Year 4 always having a positive outlook in her learning
Djillirra Haynes Year 5 for demonstrating excellent enthusiasm while learning Wiradjuri language
Kailan Keegan Year 5 being persistent with his learning
Joshua Morgan Year 6 being persistent in all of his subjects

New After School Care provider – TheirCare


After School Care for Gawura Students

TheirCare is the new After School Care provider for St Andrew’s Cathedral School and Gawura School. They have offered free after school care for Indigenous students on the Gawura scholarship which also includes Vacation Care during the school holidays. All you need to do is register your child online. The prices stated below do not apply to Gawura students. Gawura students can attend for free as long as you enrol and let them know that your child will be attending.

If you have any questions about TheirCare or would like to enrol your child, please contact Lianna or Rebecca.

Liana Wotton – St Andrew’s Area Manager 
M. 0455 552 231

Rebecca  - St Andrew’s Coordinator (day to day contact)
M. 0407 895 967 (Operating hours only)


Library News


Why I'm passionate about reading...

I’ve always said that my job brings together my two great loves – kids and books! And it’s true. My days are chock-a-block full of interactions with both. I am deeply motivated by what I have seen and learnt about the power of reading, especially reading for pleasure. The benefits of reading for pleasure extend beyond increased educational outcomes to improved wellbeing, health, and connections with others.

Over and over again, research shows that reading for pleasure is linked to improved outcomes not only in the academic areas we might expect, but in physical, mental and emotional well-being, which we know is more important than it has ever been (see, for example, findings from the UK  here). Reading provides an opportunity to empathise with the point of view of another person (the reader truly walks in someone else’s shoes). When we read, our bodies relax, our brains enter a calm mode that allows our imaginations to flourish, and when we read together (especially parents and their children), we are strengthening a bond that nurtures resilience and self-esteem. No wonder I am passionate about reading!

This term the Stage 3 Book Club has had the amazing opportunity to read (and critique!) the unpublished manuscript of a new author. The novel is a middle grade adventure set in a medieval-like future, following the journey and transformation of a reluctant hero. Book Club members have not only been reading the manuscript, but feeding back their thoughts and improvements to the author. Last week, we were even able to ‘meet’ the author (a live video call), have a short interview with him and hear some of the back-story to the novel. It has been a very enriching experience.

Kids are never too old to read with their parents. If you have no idea what kind of a book to choose for you and your child to read together, shoot me an email. I’d love to help set you up for success!

Supporting you and your family to grow in your love for reading,

Nicole Cotter
JS & GS Coordinator of Information and Digital Literacy


Sports News


We’ve had a lot of disruption to the sporting calendar in 2020, but we’re lucky enough to be able to run our much delayed Cross Country this week! It’ll be very exciting to have some normality and see the students pushing themselves to compete for line honours.

Our K-2 students have a couple of highlights of their own coming up, with gymnastics, K-2 Mini-Athletics Carnival and learn to swim lessons on the horizon. These are all foundational experiences to aid in their transition into upper primary years and larger carnivals. I’m sure they will make the most of the opportunity!

Tony Dunseath
Assistant Year 8 Coordinator, Curriculum Coordinator, JS Teacher


Music News



Congratulations to the following students on their AMEB exam results:

Arthur Eidel – Pass with Honours in Second Grade Recorder Repertoire
Freddy Beck – Honours in Preliminary Piano for Leisure
Abigail Chan – Credit in Third Grade Violin
Madison Dockery – Honours in Preliminary Violin
Daniel Lin – High Distinction in First Grade Violin
Allegra Summerill – High Distinction in First Grade Piano
Wilson Liu – Honours in First Grade Violin

Congratulations also to our school Bolling Quartet who were recently awarded the Innovation Award in the Musica Viva online “Strike a Chord” competition for the ensemble who throws the most interesting light on what chamber music can be. Well done to Ms Szu Yu Chen and students David Kim, Jayden Beckett, Catherine Dennis and Ryan Langley for their achievement in this.


K-4 Christmas Card Competition

Help our Music Department and Junior School with their Christmas Card Design for 2020!

Design a card for Christmas to be used to send to our community from the Junior School which incorporates the character strength of HOPE

Design a card for Christmas to be used to send to our community from the Music Department, which represents not only Christmas, but something of JOY and MUSIC.

There will be one winner from each category and the judging panel will choose the artwork that is the most creative, carefully drawn and thoughtful.

Entries should be submitted in hard copy format to JS Reception by Friday 18 September, with students name on the front.

Kate Robertson
Head of Music (K-6)


Year 6 Market Day


Friday 16 October

On Friday 16 October, Year 6 students are going to host a Market Day on the roof throughout K-6 lunch breaks. Year 6 have lots of exciting activities and games planned for all ages. There will be bowling, pin the tail on the donkey, colouring, snakes and ladders, shooting rubber ducks with a water pistol, even the opportunity to throw wet sponges at Year 6 students!

K-5 students are invited to purchase a $5 ticket to participate on the day. Market Day is the second fundraising event for our Year 6 graduation, so we would greatly appreciate your support! To purchase a ticket, please give your class teacher $5 in a clearly marked envelope with your child’s full name and class.

Please consider donating an extra gold coin to cover our Gawura students and young students who forget their money. We are looking forward to a great day full of fun and festivities!

Katrina O’Malley
Grade 6 Leader


Parenting Tips


What sleep is and why all kids need it

KidsHealth wrote this interesting blog from 2015. Despite being a few years ago, the ideas are still very relevant and helpful for today.

Why You Need Sleep
The average child has a busy day. There's school, taking care of your pets, running around with friends, going to sports practice or other activities, and doing your homework. By the end of the day, your body needs a break. Sleep allows your body to rest for the next day.
Everything that's alive needs sleep to survive. Even your dog or cat curls up for naps. Animals sleep for the same reason you do — to give your body a tiny vacation.

Your Brain Needs Zzzzzs
Your body and your brain need sleep. Though no one is exactly sure what work the brain does when you're sleeping, some scientists think that the brain sorts through and stores information, replaces chemicals, and solves problems while you snooze. Most children between ages 5 and 12 get about 9.5 hours a night, but experts agree that most need 10 or 11 hours each night. Sleep is an individual thing and some children need more than others.

When your body doesn't have enough hours to rest, you may feel tired or cranky, or you may be unable to think clearly. You might have a hard time following directions, or you might have an argument with a friend over something really stupid. A school assignment that's normally easy may feel impossible, or you may feel clumsy playing your favorite sport or instrument.
One more reason to get enough sleep: If you don't, you may not grow as well. That's right, researchers believe too little sleep can affect growth and your immune system — which keeps you from getting sick.

How to Catch Your ZZZs
For most children sleeping comes pretty naturally. Here are some tips to help you catch all the ZZZs you need:

  • Try to go to bed at the same time every night; this helps your body get into a routine.
  • Follow a bedtime routine that is calming, such as taking a warm bath or reading.
  • Limit foods and drinks that contain caffeine. These include some soft drinks and other drinks, like ice tea.
  • Don't have a TV in your room. Research shows that children who have one in their rooms sleep less. If you have a TV, turn it off when it's time to sleep.
  • Don't allow children to watch scary TV shows or movies close to bedtime because these can sometimes make it hard to fall asleep.
  • Don't exercise just before going to bed. Do exercise earlier in the day — it helps a person sleep better.
  • Encourage your child to use their bed just for sleeping — not doing homework, reading, playing games, talking or messaging on the phone. (Or playing computer games) That way, you'll train your body to associate your bed with sleep.

Joy Rohrlach
Year 5 Leader


School Banking


Optional School Banking is available at our school.  The lovely Mrs. Magee, parent to Raleigh and Gabriel, volunteers her time every Friday morning to administrate the banking for students wishing to regularly save through the school’s nominated banking program.

School Banking programs provide a way for Australian children to learn about the value of money and smart saving.

If you wish to get your child involved in the School Banking Program, you will need to set up a Youthsaver account in your child’s name. Each week your child can then make regular deposits, every Friday during school terms and they can also participate in the accompanying Rewards Program.

Three ways to open a Youthsaver account for your child:

1) Apply online at

2) Log on to your CommBank app (if you bank with CommBank). Head to the menu on the top left corner, select ‘Products & offers’, then ‘Bank accounts’ and ‘Student & youth accounts’, scroll down to Kids and tap ‘Open account’

3) Visit any CommBank branch

What you will need:
You will need an Australian residential address and personal identification for you and your child. You can use a birth certificate, passport, driver licence or citizenship certificate.If applying in branch, please bring along your child’s birth certificate and/or any applicable Court Order to help us identify you as the parent or legal guardian.

Things you should know:
Full terms and conditions for the Youthsaver account are available at and should be considered in any decision about the product.

Once you have registered your child can drop their banking to Mrs. Magee during Friday morning, she works outside the Year 2 classrooms on Level 7.

We are grateful for her time and efforts to serve a number of our school students in this practical way.


MYP - Middle Years Programme


Assessment in the MYP (Middle Years Programme)

When your son or daughter moves from Year 6 into Year 7, they will notice some differences to the school day and what classes are like. They will have 5 different teachers in the day and a tutor who looks after their well-being and academic growth and who will be your key contact point. They see them about 30 minutes every day. Even moving from Year 6 into Year 7 in the same school there will be some big changes such as the timetable, increased homework and changes to assessment.

Later this term I will run an online session in which I will invite all Middle School Parents and parents of Year 6 to have an online meeting where I will repeat the parent talk I gave at the start of the year to parents about the MYP and Assessment. Year 6 parents will receive an email with a link for this later in the term.

One aspect of school life that is different to the Junior School is Summative Assessment. Summative Assessment in the MYP is different in that it is criterion based with every subject having 4 criteria, all out of 8. Each level of achievement has a descriptor which describes the skills and knowledge needed to reach that level. All students and parents are provided with an Assessment Calendar at the start of Year 7, 8 and 9 so they can map out the formal assessments for the year. Two weeks before each assessment, all students and parents are provided with a notification which outlines the assessment as well as the assessment criteria allowing students to know what they need to do to achieve their best. Parents then also have the opportunity to sit with their child, talk about the assessment and contact the teachers well ahead of time if further guidance is needed. In the online meeting at the end of this term I will share examples of this with you.

I look forward to meeting with you remotely this term so you can learn a little more about the MYP and more specifically, assessment.

Mrs Kate Layhe
Director of Learning (Middle School)


NSW Health Message


NSW Health Clarification provided to schools - identifying and responding to unwell students

  • During the COVID-19 pandemic, anyone with symptoms of COVID-19 (fever, cough, sore throat, shortness of breath, loss of taste, and loss of smell), even mild symptoms, should not be at school.
  • Where a student is unwell, arrangements should be made to send them home.
  • Schools should encourage parents to arrange for the student who is unwell to be tested so they can return to school as soon possible once their symptoms have resolved to minimise the absence from school. For people who are unwell with respiratory symptoms, a negative COVID-19 test result must be received and sighted by the school.
  • If, after testing negative, the student has ongoing symptoms which persist beyond 10 days, the student should see their doctor. The medical assessment should consider whether the symptoms are typical for that person (for example seasonal, allergic rhinitis), and provide documentation for the school if this is the case. If there are new symptoms at any time, the person should be tested again.
  • Some parents have reported concerns with obtaining COVID test results. Where a parent/carer is unwilling to allow their child to undertake a COVID test or provide the school with a negative COVID-19 test result, the student is to be excluded from school for a 10 day period. Additionally, the student must have been symptom free for at least 3 days before returning to school.

Wilson Parking


Ticket Validation

We’ve now finalised our arrangement with Wilson Parking.  The arrangement provides for a charge of $Nil if parents stay in the car park for less than 15 minutes and a charge of $5 if they stay in the car park for between 15 and 30 minutes.  After that, the normal casual rate will apply.  The arrangement is activated through the validation of your parking ticket.  We have received the ticket validator and it is now set up on a table at the entrance to our SAH reception.

Please note the new process:

  • Park in the car park
  • Deliver/collect your child/children
  • Validate your ticket in the ticket validation machine.  There will be a guided path to move along – entering through the main reception doors and exiting through the glass fire exit door.
  • Go to SAH car park
  • Pay for your ticket at the ticket machine before going to car
  • Exit through the boom gate using the validated paid ticket

Nicola Warwick-Mayo
Executive Director School Services


NESA Exam Supervisors


NESA is seeking Expressions of Interest for HSC Exam Supervision

NESA launched a web page to collect expressions of interest from public who may be interested in supervising the HSC written exams. NESA > About > Jobs > Expression of interest for HSC exam supervision

If you are interested in this position complete this form to register your details with NESA.

By completing this form you agree that NESA may pass your contact details to schools near you if they request assistance from us in recruiting exam supervision staff.

HSC supervisors

Supervisors assist presiding officers during the HSC exams. They also supervise students.

Supervisors receive a roster from their presiding officer. The number and length of shifts varies depending on the number of exams held at each school. Supervisors may supervise at more than one school.

Essential requirements

Supervisors must:

• have a valid Working With Children Check clearance for employment
• work as part of a team
• have attention to detail
• be able to carry out duties confidentially and discreetly
• be able to stand for long periods of time.

Supervisors must not have a friend or close relative sitting the HSC at the same school or be an employee of the school.

Eleni Tatsis
Director of Learning (Senior College)


Code Camp


Online Code Camps

Join us at our new online Code Camps. We have released virtual versions of our beloved Spark, Ignite, Blast 3D, and Web Builders camps which the kids will be able to do from the comfort and safety of their home. Book now


Anglicare Food and Clothing Drive


Help St Paul's and Canterbury support families in need

Anglicare is a Christian not-for-profit organisation that provides practical and long-term solutions for families in need. Each year, St Paul’s and Canterbury House work together to gather long-life foods and good quality hand-me-down clothing to send to families in need. In this time of the COVID-19, many have lost their jobs and their financial stability, so we are doing what we can to support and provide for those in need.

Please donate, good quality clothing and long life food.

When:  Monday 7 to Friday 11 September, 7.50am to 8.25am
Where: Students will be available each morning outside the entrance to SAH to collect items.


Showcase: Into the Light


This annual concert has a history of demonstrating the breadth and depth of performing arts talent at SACS across both our Junior School and Secondary School. This year will be no different, with professional filming of ensemble performances taking place over two days and two nights in the newly renovated Chapter House.

This years theme of 'Into the Light' acknowledges the sometimes chaotic and difficult times we have all recently experienced due to the impact of a world pandemic. From bushfires to the pandemic and everything in between, 2020 has us searching for meaning and hope.

Event details:
Date: Wednesday 16 and 17 September
Time: 7pm

The two streamed video performances can be viewed on our website at or on our YouTube channel at


Step by Step


Step by Step is the annual SACS Dance showcase and features highlights of Dance activities from across the school community. This year we will be featuring dances from the Dance Ensembles, Year 8 elective Dance, HSC Dance major works and more.

If you are a student or staff at SACS we hope you can join us to celebrate our night of dance.

For the rest of you in our SACS community, we hope you will enjoy a streamed recording of this in the near future.

Ryan Desaulnier
Leader of Learning – Dance and Drama


Andrean Writer, Artist and Composer (new) of the Year Competition


We are proud to announce this year’s K-12 creative competition theme is – SYDNEY. Our school is located in the middle of the best city in the world. Sydney is part of SACS DNA and we are keen to see how students will creatively represent it. This year we have a NEW category - music composer of the year – can you compose a song/music about Sydney?

Thoughts to get you started:

  • Explore Sydney’s past, present, or future
  • Explore Sydney’s setting (eg city) for your story, artwork, music
  • Explore Sydney’s culture – diversity, multicultural, aboriginal
  • Explore Sydney’s vibe – positive, future focused, busy, modern
  • Explore Sydney’s beautiful natural setting – harbour, parks, headlands, towns, architecture
  • Explore Sydney’s people – homeless, business, students, shoppers

Click here for 2020 entry details and winners from past competitions.

Entries close Monday 19 October (Term 4 Week 2).


URSTRONG Parent Seminar


The URSTRONG friendship program teaches children how to develop healthy friendships, how to manage conflict in a positive way, and helps them to grow strong and meaningful friendships. Parents and carers are invited to join us for an online seminar and hear how our Junior School students have been learning about these things all term.

Event details:

Date:     Wednesday 16 September
Time:     1.30pm-2.30pm
Online:   For more information visit our website 

If you are unable to attend, you can view the recording after the event. A link will be published in the Junior School newsletter.


Gawura Doctor - Dr Shuo Zhao


Wednesday and Friday Appointments Available.

I would like to advise you that we have secured the services of a very generous doctor in the city who is willing to see our Gawura students and their families free of charge (he will bulk bill through Medicare) if the need arises. Dr Shuo (Shore) Zhao is located at Level 1, 70 Pitt St, Sydney. You can book an appointment with him on any Wednesday and Friday morning between 8am – 12pm. The number of the practice is 02 9233 3399.

We understand that many parents already have their own doctor that they use, possibly even through the Aboriginal Medical Service (AMS) in Redfern but this is just another option for you to use if you choose to do so and one that is located in the city, near our school.


Resources for COVID-19


Get connected on our social media

Like us on Facebook:

Follow our Twitter: @gawura_sacs

Follow our Instagram: @gawura_school

Visit the Gawura Website:


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