ACA President's Comment

ACA President’s Comment

27 September 2020

Better procurement practices will support building quality, but also healthier, safer work practices for a wide range of people in the construction industry, says John Held.

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Building resilience

Architecture’s Gig Economy, COVID-19 & Building Resilience

10 August 2020

As the global pandemic hits architects hard, Peter Raisbeck proposes a few ideas about how to build professional resilience.

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Canary in the Coalmine

Pulse Checks & the Construction Outlook

9 July 2020

If architecture is the canary in the coalmine, the outlook for construction is appalling, writes Geoff Hanmer.

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President's Comment

ACA President’s Comment

14 July 2020

ACA President John Held reflects on the need for a finer-grained approach to stimulus, and the importance of being active and assertive in creating a post-pandemic future.

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President's Comment

ACA President’s Comment

9 June 2020

As we release the preliminary findings of our third Pulse Check Survey, John Held explores the key issues in the profession, from workflow to JobKeeper, from stimulus to flexibility and the future of work.

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Leadership for Architects: 101

28 May 2020

Peter Raisbeck explores how ethical leadership and decision making are crucial in these uncertain times.

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ACA President's Comment

The Power of Sharing Stories

21 April 2020

ACA National President John Held invites members to share their stories, views and impressions on how to create better places to live, work and be.

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Robe Peake

Government Support and What Employers Can Do

25 March 2020

As we face a crisis of unknown proportions, Rob Peake, Principal of Management for Design, outlines what is needed from the Federal Government, and what architectural practices can do to weather the storm.

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President's Comment

ACA President's Comment

24 March 2020

As architectural practices face uncertain futures in the time of COVID-19, ACA National President John Held discusses the importance of sharing stories, ideas, and love and consideration for each other.

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President's Comment

ACA President’s Comment

3 February 2020

As disaster strikes, John Held discusses the importance of sharing knowledge and experiences, and the broader role of the architect in society.

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After the Fire: Be Patient, Considerate and Strategic

After the Fire: Be Patient, Considerate and Strategic

12 January 2020

Kim Irons of Irons McDuff Architecture cautions patience to those keen to offer aid to those affected by the bushfires.

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Angelina Pillai

International Men’s Day Reflections

19 November 2019

ACA CEO Angelina Pillai reflects on a week of inspirational panel discussions and events that will hopefully spur others on to further action.

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President's Comment

When Will Architects Be in the Firing Line?

7 November 2019

Every day a new story hits the headlines outlining a case of workplace exploitation and underpayment. John Held ponders when architecture’s long hours culture will hit the front pages, and what the ACA can do to help ensure we have fair and efficient businesses.

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Kerstin Thompson

The Business of Design

5 October 2019

Kerstin Thompson’s recent presentation for the ACA – SA was a thoughtful reflection on the business of design, busting some stubborn myths about architectural practice, and emphasising the need to balance design quality with business practice excellence, financial strength, thriving people and workplace health.

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Michael Smith

Fixing the Building Industry - A Wishlist

19 September 2019

With defect-prone apartment buildings in the spotlight, it’s clear that Australia’s apartment procurement system needs a serious redesign. Michael Smith highlights the state of play in the building industry, and lays out his wishlist of reforms. 

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Australian Standards

A Question of Standards

12 September 2019

With the high cost of accessing Australian Standards, how can we expect high levels of compliance in the building industry? Easy access to clear, understandable Standards must be a priority, argues John Held.

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President's Comment

How Can Architects Take Action?

3 September 2019

As governments tackle systemic issues in the building industry, John Held outlines some of the ways that architects can make an impact.

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What Keeps Architects Awake at Night?

What Keeps Architects Awake at Night?

9 July 2019

How do we ensure our profession remains relevant and vibrant? John Held draws threads through the many issues facing architecture and the construction industry, and asks how can we support each other as we face the future.

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Misuse of title

Consumer Confidence in the Title ‘Architect’

3 July 2019

ACA – WA Committee member Kate Fitzgerald discusses the growing trend for incorrect use of the title ‘Architect’ in an age of declining consumer confidence, and how the time is right to reclaim the title.

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Cassandra Keller

How to Achieve Pay Equity

27 June 2019

Compare and contrast pay rates and don’t misread confidence for competence, advises Cassandra Keller.

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Kim Lovegrove

How to Solve the Building Practitioner Insurance Crisis in Australia

2 July 2019

The PI insurance crisis is upon us – but how did it come to this? Senior Construction Lawyer Kim Lovegrove identifies the key challenges, and outlines his ideas for bringing the Australian building industry back from the brink.

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People in Architecture

Putting People in the Picture

8 June 2019

Why are people largely absent from our architectural imagery? As a profession that designs and builds spaces for people, perhaps we need to be more conscious of including people in our floorplans and models, writes Fiona Young.

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Avoiding Burnout

22 May 2019

Running and directing an architecture practice is often gruelling, and can take a real toll on your mental health. Peter Raisbeck identifies the stress factors and offers some basic tips on self care.

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Naomi Stead 1

Is Architectural Practice Making Architects Sick?

21 May 2019

Professor Naomi Stead, Head of Architecture at Monash University, is one of the champions of a proposed new research project currently under development, Mental Wellbeing of Architects and Architecture Students: Culture, Education and the Workplace, which aims to examine links between architectural culture and identity and mental wellbeing. Here, Naomi takes a quick look at the issues.


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Ben Channon

Collective Action on Mental Health

21 May 2019

Ben Channon is an Associate and Mental Wellbeing Ambassador at Assael Architecture, and chair of the Architects' Mental Wellbeing Forum in the UK. Ben talks us through the forum's origins and ambitions.

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President comment

ACA President's Comment

28 April 2019

In light of the release of the Building Confidence Implementation Plan, ACA National President John Held revisits the recent history of regulation in the Australian construction industry and the challenge of timely reform and coordination between all states and territories.

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Design Risk

Forget Design Quality, it’s all about Design Risk!

17 April 2019

Thinking about design risk in strategic terms is imperative for the profession, but it is often sidelined in practice, and is barely mentioned in architecture schools. Peter Raisbeck explores the concept of design risk.

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Where to Now?

Where to Now?

6 March 2019

John Held argues that we need to take both collective action and individual responsibility if we are to address the complex, tangled problems of procurement, quality and risk. 

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Jennifer Crawford2

Embracing Collaboration

4 March 2019

It’s time to ditch the idea of the architectural rock star, embrace a more collaborative approach, and communicate far and wide, argues Jennifer Crawford. 

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Angelina Pillai2

IWD Reflections

4 March 2019

As International Women's Day 2019 approaches, ACA CEO Angelina Pillai reflects on her upbringing, the importance of seeing strong women leaders in public life, and the need to push for basic human rights for all. 

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Michael Lewarne

Not Just a Matter of Good Design

26 February 2019

As architects, we should be selling our ability to realise a well-constructed, quality, safe building rather than focusing solely on design, argues Michael Lewarne.

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Stephen Pearse

Defragging Procurement

20 February 2019

Current fragmented systems for procuring and delivering complex building projects are compromising the built outcome, to the detriment of the consumer, the public and the built environment professions. Stephen Pearse argues that the building procurement process needs a complete defrag.

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Prof Tom Kvan

Don't Throttle Design Education

30 January 2019

Professor Tom Kvan argues the case for broad access to a design-based education and points out the profound societal benefits it brings.

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Welcome to 2019

Welcome to 2019

19 January 2019

The year has begun with a focus on quality – and the lack of it. ACA President John Held considers what architects and the ACA can do to improve the quality of the built environment.

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Michael Hegarty thumb

Bring Back the Clerk of Works

17 January 2019

In the wake of the Opal Tower debacle, Michael Hegarty explores the role of the Clerk of Works, and the need to return this key project role to Australian construction sites.

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Flora crop

The State of the Profession Q&A with Flora Samuel

7 November 2018

Michael Smith interviews Flora Samuel about the state of the profession, future challenges, and whether we need more or less architects.

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Rethinking Culture, Communication and Boundaries

5 November 2018

Michael Lewarne offers prognostications and provocations about cultural change and leadership in the architecture profession.

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Banking survey

Challenging the Banks’ Discrimination Against ABIC

11 October 2018

Warwick Mihaly outlines the findings of the recent survey on the banks and ABIC contracts. The worrying results provided the foundation for the joint submission to the Banking Royal Commission by the ACA, ArchiTeam and the Institute of Architects.   

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Sean Godsell

Future Practice? Conversations from the heart (of architecture)

17 August 2018

What would Macquarie and Greenway say? Sean Godsell reflects on the state of the profession. 

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Mel Bayl-Smith

Valuable Experience or Exploitation? The Story of Unpaid Internships

7 August 2018

In a profession under pressure, unpaid internships are becoming increasingly common, but they may be placing our most vulnerable students and graduates at risk. Melonie Bayl-Smith unpacks the issues.

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Jennifer Crawford

New Business Models

24 June 2018

Jennifer Crawford argues that the question of fees is really a question of business models. Architects need to work out what their ‘super power’ is, and charge accordingly.

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Fiona Young

Addressing Architecture’s Wicked Problems through Affordances

20 June 2018

Fiona Young argues that we need to understand briefing as a key part of the architect's role, develop a common understanding with clients to ensure the best outcome, and charge fees accordingly. 

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Is Regulation the Answer to Fee Madness?

20 June 2018

Is reintroducing fee scales and further regulation the solution to fee slashing and ‘the race for the bottom’ among architects? Is this really feasible in a world of increasing globalisation and diversification of service providers? Ceilidh Higgins considers other options.

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Fee redemption

Fee Redemption: A mutually assured future

19 June 2018

The conversation about fees is taking off across social media. John Held argues that many of the contemporary problems facing architects derive from unpriced risk, and that nationwide research and smarter business practices are part of the solution. 

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Closing the Gap

We Need to Stop Innovating in Indigenous Housing and get on with Closing the Gap

11 June 2018

Kieran Wong argues that the National Indigenous Housing Guide must be mandated by law to ensure the best housing outcomes for Indigenous communities.

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Can Design Deliver Positive Economic Outcomes?

Can Design Deliver Positive Economic Outcomes?

11 May 2018

Broadening the procurement process to consider the value of good design brings economic benefits to the state, argues SA Industry Advocate Ian Nightingale.

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Part time

The powerful impact of part-time work

18 August 2017

Part-time employment can have enormous benefits – to employers and employees, but also to the creative process, argues Madeline Sewall.

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Step up!

Step Up, Don’t Step Back

13 July 2017

John Held argues that stepping up to the small stuff is also the path to improving the profession's wider role in society.

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The Merits of Mentoring

8 May 2017

When it comes to creating a motivated and well-supported architectural workforce, mentoring is a no-brainer, argues Michael Smith. 

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LOng hours

Go Hard or Go Home!

20 March 2017

Lee Hillam reflects on the long-hours culture in architecture.

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Research in practice

Research in Practice

14 March 2017

John Held reflects on conjunctions of research and practice in a talk presented at the Australian Institute of Architects Flipped Forum, which asked ‘Can practice lead research?’

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Wanted: More women at the top

8 March 2017

Women make great leaders, but a seat at the top table is often elusive. Emma Williamson explores the obstacles women face on the road to the top.

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Kieran Wong

The ACA and the Institute - Distinct but Complementary

16 February 2017

An interview with ACA – WA President Kieran Wong about the ACA and potential collaborations with the Institute of Architects. 

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Knowledge Futures

Knowledge Futures: Future Proofing the Architectural Firm.

10 November 2016

Do we want a downstream future or an upstream one? The choice is ours, and the consequences are far-reaching. Peter Raisbeck outlines two scenarios.

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Research in architectural practice

Research in Architectural Practice - 6 ways for architects to create upstream knowledge

18 October 2016

How can your practice amplify its research capability? Peter Raisback suggests six strategies. 

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Ensuring Australia's BIM Future

Ensuring Australia's future in BIM

14 October 2016

It's essential that Australia has a consistent approach towards BIM implementation, ensuring its future growth can support international opportunities, argues Rebecca De Cicco.

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Give SA graduates a chance

Give SA graduates a chance!

6 October 2016

South Australia produces some great architecture graduates. ACA – SA argues that they should also have the chance to design buildings for their universities as they proceed with their careers.  

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Suits vs designers

Business Suits vs. Designers: Why architectural practice is going down the gurgler

21 September 2016

Peter Raisbeck argues that the false opposition between design and business is crippling architecture. We need to bridge the divide to ensure the ongoing viability of the profession.

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Is Everyone Experiencing This?

Is Everyone Experiencing This Right Now?

15 December 2014

Design fees, scope creep, government projects: Alexandra Howieson reflects on the state of the profession.

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Becoming a B Corp

Becoming a B Corp: Using business for the power of good

8 August 2016

Lee Hillam outlines the process of becoming a B Corp and the benefits that flow from it.

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Embracing technological change

Where to From Here: Embracing technological change

15 June 2016

Is architecture on the verge of the greatest change in centuries? Ceilidh Higgins looks to the future and predicts disruption of epic proportions. Part of the ACA's Where to From Here series.

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Promising outlook

Where to from here: A promising outlook

15 June 2016

A rapidly changing profession brings fresh opportunities for flexibility and specialisation, says emerging architect Emily Chalk.

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Michael Hegarty

Where to From Here: Clients Drive Collaboration and Consolidation

8 June 2016

Michael Hegarty reflects on the rise of the integrated architecture and engineering practice, arguing that we need to reframe design as process that is essential to client needs.  

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Where to Next

Architecture's State of Play: Where to Next

20 May 2016

Michael Pilkington takes a close look at the ACA – SA State of the Profession research, and argues we must take a ‘let's make the cake bigger’ approach to both practice and the way serve the community, “because, simply, we can and we do live fundamentally for some kind of human-betterment”. 

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Where to From Here

Where to From Here: It's Not Even Architecture

19 May 2016

As young practitioners and thinkers deeply invested in our profession's future, Jenna Holder and Athanasios Lazarou consider the issues and make a strong call for collective action. Part of the ACA's Where to From Here series, which invites reflections on the recent ACA SA State of the Profession research. 

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Where to from here

Where to From Here? The View From an Emerging Practice

19 May 2016

Sonia Sarangi and Michael Smith of Atelier Red and Black argue that we need to understand and 'own' the changes facing the profession, to help make them work for rather than against us. 

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What will we do with all the architects?

What Are We Going to Do with All the Architects?

4 November 2015

Steve Kennedy contemplates the future and the coming challenges to the architectural industry in Australia. 

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BIM - Archictects' Trojan Horse

BIM - the Architects' Trojan Horse

17 September 2015

Peter Barda argues that BIM offers a way for architects to regain their role as trusted advisor.

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Public Private Partnerships For Procurement

13 April 2015

PPP projects do not always deliver all that is claimed – and architects rarely benefit. Ann Gorey reflects on the perceived advantages, claimed benefits and actual costs of this common procurement method.  

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The Gap Between Authority and Expertise - BIM and Government Procurement

The Gap Between Authority and Expertise - BIM and Government Procurement

12 April 2015

John Held reflects on the importance of the educated government client and architects who have a sophisticated understanding of the client organisation.

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Susan Shannon

A Changing Profession

9 February 2015

All professions grow, mature and change – Susan Shannon draws on her extensive body of research to reflect on registration and the shifting shape of the profession.

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Business savvy archi-prenuers

Wanted! Business-savvy archi-preneurs

15 December 2014

Reflecting on the opportunities ahead, Jane Cameron argues that we need to explore different modes of practice and new ways to recognise competance, and to design new business models.  

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10 Challenges 10 Actions

Ten Challenges / Ten Actions

15 December 2014

Leone Lorrimer outlines ten challenges facing architecture and ten actions we can take to turn these challenges into opportunities.  

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Deskilling and Reskilling

Deskilling and Reskilling

21 November 2014

John Held reflects on deskilling and reskilling in the profession. Have architects lost the role of ‘trusted advisor’? What do low registration rates mean and what skills do we need to be effective in the future?

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What makes a City

What Makes a City?

10 November 2014

The Hon Dominic Perrottet MP, NSW Minister for Finance and Services, launched the Sydney Architecture Festival with an impressive speech about the role of architects in the making of innovative cities.  

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Architecture and Journalism

Architecture and Journalism - not so different after all

5 November 2014

Michael Bleby reflects on architecture and journalism.

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To BIM or not to BIM?

To BIM or not to BIM? What a Question!

4 November 2014

How might the industry encourage clients to take up BIM?

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Construction happiness index

Do We Need a Construction Happiness Index?

4 November 2014

John Held on happiness, mental health and the construction industry.

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Setting architectural fees

Architectural Fees: what, how and where to...

2 September 2014

Antony Di Mase canvasses the complexities of setting fees and the valuing of architectural work, arguing that we need consensus on how fees are determined. 

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Design – does it need a policy?

Design - Does it need a Policy?

21 August 2014

How do we ensure the community reaps the benefits of a well-designed built environment? Peter Barda considers what types of policy might be effective. 

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Into the abyss – fee cutting and architecture

Into the Abyss

4 August 2014

Does excessive fee-cutting mean the profession is presiding over its own demise? George Zillante outlines the issues. 

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Supporting Working Parents

Supporting Working Parents

5 August 2014

What does the recent Human Rights Commission report mean for architectural businesses?  

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