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- Friday, 17th May 2019 -
The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) has recently released its annual Youth Justice in Australia 2017-18 report. Data presented in the report points towards not only what is going atrociously wrong in Queensland’s youth justice system that has led to the widely reported crisis of large numbers of children being detained in watchhouses, but also the solutions to this dire situation. Importantly, beneath the numbers and percentages blandly presented in the report, there are the stories of children’s lives screaming to be told, many of which made their way into Four Corners’ recent reporting on  The Watch House Files: Queensland children kept in isolation in maximum security adult watch houses.

Elsewhere in this edition of eNews, we provide a detailed summary of the AIHW report. Just a few of the statistics about which we should be terribly alarmed include the following:
  • An extraordinarily high percentage – 87% – of Queensland children in detention during 2017-18 were on remand (i.e. they were not sentenced to detention by a court). The national percentage was 60%, dragged up by the high Queensland number.
  • Problems caused by the high number of Queensland children on remand were compounded by the length of their remand periods. Nationally, the length of remand periods ranged from a low of 33 days in South Australia to a high of 63 days in Queensland.
  • Gross over-representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander in detention was apparent in all States and Territories, but Queensland was worse than elsewhere – 32 times the non-Indigenous rate in Queensland compared with 23 times the non-Indigenous rate nationally.
Importantly, the AIHW report also indicates that, with the exception of the Australian Capital Territory, the rate of young people subject to youth justice orders across the country has fallen. In Queensland, the rate fell from 31 to 27 per 10,000 children before rising to 30 per 10,000 in 2017-18 which can be attributed to the transfer of 17 year olds from the adult criminal justice system to youth justice in February 2018. This trend flies in the face of frequent beat-up messages of youth crime waves and underlines the very specific reasons for, and solutions to, Queensland’s current crisis concerning the detention of children in watchhouses.

No reasonable person can be unmoved by the starkly presented case studies that informed the Four Corners’ story. No reasonable person can be left not wondering why these children were remanded in custody, why these children were left languishing on remand for so long and in such inhumane conditions, or why, even without knowing the nature of their alleged offences, they were arrested and charged in the first place when there are other options available to the Police.

In previous editions of eNews and our blogs, PeakCare has applauded the Palaszczuk Government’s investment in a range of youth justice reforms and we continue to do so. However, the Government’s admission that use of watchhouses to accommodate children on remand is likely to continue for several months until the impact of a number of these strategies take effect demands that some more immediate actions are taken, at least, on an interim basis.

PeakCare’s view is that it should not be left to the youth justice system alone to address these problems and it is never good policy to mis-use a system such as youth justice to address the shortfalls or failings of other systems with which it intersects, such as those responsible for policing; court administration, legal representation and advocacy; child protection and family support; youth mental health and disability support services; and youth housing, income support, education and vocational training – all of which have contributed to the problems now being faced and have obligations to now actively contribute to the solutions. PeakCare remains strongly committed to continuing to play our part in working with the Government on finding and implementing the best possible solutions and trust that all our Members share this commitment.

Click here to express your commitment and state any other opinions you may hold. Speak up!

What do Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people think about violence against women and gender equality? Findings from NCAS

ANROWS has released Attitudes towards violence against women and gender equality among Aboriginal people and Torres Strait Islanders - Findings from the 2017 National Community Attitudes towards Violence against Women Survey (NCAS). The findings suggest most Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people surveyed have good knowledge of key aspects of violence against women, support gender equality and do not endorse attitudes supportive of violence against women, and that there is a trend toward improvement on the overall measure of attitudes towards violence against women. The report identifies some of the strongest predictors of attitudes supportive of violence against women, including: broader attitudes endorsing gender inequality; having a low level of understanding of violence against women; holding prejudicial attitudes towards others on the basis of their disability, ethnicity or sexual orientation; and endorsing violence as a practice. The report notes "the large proportion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander respondents who agreed that reporting violence remains problematic for women indicates the importance of continued efforts to address institutional and community level barriers to reporting." Read the report.

National Families Week

We are right in the middle of the 17th annual National Families Week - 15th to 21st May - which offers the opportunity to celebrate the vital role that families play in Australian society, and to celebrate the meaning of family and to make the most of family life. Families play a critical role in teaching, supporting and nurturing children especially as they grow. View the National Families Week ten top tips for building stronger families and communities, find out more about the 2019 ambassadors, or attend a local event in support of the campaign.

National Reconciliation Week 2019

At the heart of reconciliation is the relationship between the broader Australian community and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. This year National Reconciliation Week (NRW) has the theme "Grounded in Truth - Walk Together with Courage" reflecting the fact that according to the 2018 Australian Reconciliation Barometer, Australians are ready to come to terms with our history as a crucial step towards a unified future. The dates for NRW  - 27th May to 3rd June - remain the same each year, and serve to commemorate two significant milestones in the reconciliation journey: the successful 1967 referendum which recognised the voting rights of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, and the High Court Mabo decision, which recognised the rights of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders as traditional owners of the land. View the 2019 NRW Guide for more insights into the themes behind reconciliation as well as the 2019 poster design, read the May issue of Reconciliation News for the latest on the journey toward unity, and visit the NRW website for more, including NRW events around Australia.

New free business scorecard tool

Community Services Industry Alliance (CSIA) has been working in partnership with the Queensland Family and Child Commission (QFCC) to develop a free online tool to measure, record, develop and track your organisation’s business maturity over time. By answering questions across eight business domains, in less than 20 minutes you will receive a full report with an analysis of your organisation's strengths and areas for development. The tool can be accessed here.

Resources to support autism awareness

April was World Autism Month, aimed at increasing global understanding and acceptance of people with autism. Autism can be diagnosed at any age, and with the number of people affected by autism increasing globally, there is now more to do to ensure autistic individuals are accepted and supported throughout the lifespan. Resources are available that explore what autism is, how to identify if your child may require a diagnosis, how to handle sensory input in the home, how to support better sleep and engagement with school, how to plan travelling or moving house with a child who has autism. Properly managed, autism does not have to mean an individual has to miss out on life experiences.

2019 Foster and Kinship Care Conference - registrations now open

The 2019 National Foster and Kinship Care Conference is coming to Perth and is being hosted by the Foster Care Association Western Australia.  The conference is open to all Foster and Kinship carers nationally and is being held at the Rendezvous Hotel, Perth, 5th to 7th September. The conference aims to provide an exciting and nurturing learning environment, acknowledging, inspiring and promoting personal and professional connections in the fostering sector and will present a unique opportunity to learn from, and alongside, family and general foster carers. The conference will have a strong focus on elevating the voice of the carer, both as an individual and a collective group. Find out more and register.


SNAICC child care package impact survey closing soon

SNAICC's survey on the impact of the Queensland government's new Child Care Package is closing soon - with 50% of services so far stating that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children are accessing less hours of child care since the package began. To make the government listen, more voices are needed - complete the survey now and make your voice count, or to complete over the phone, call Andria Mastroianni on (03) 9419 1921. Completing the survey will support SNAICC in advocating for better early childhood education and care policies, funding and supports for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children.

Congratulations to Families Australia

PeakCare congratulates Brian Babington, Stella Conroy and the team from Families Australia for the stimulating, highly informative and well-organised 6th national Child Aware conference held in Brisbane this week. Special mention is made of the profound Oration delivered by Mr Richard Weston, Chief Executive Officer of the Healing Foundation and Family Matters Co-Chair. PeakCare was pleased to participate in delivering a podium presentation and sponsoring a display stand. Thank you once again to our colleagues from Families Australia.

AASW/PeakCare Child Protection Practice Group forum date change to Monday, 3rd June

May is Domestic and Family Violence Prevention Month, so come along to hear from presenter Jatinder Kaur and women with a lived experience of intimate partner violence across diverse cultures about: vulnerabilities and risk factors faced by migrant and refugee women; holistic bio-psycho-social assessments of migrant and refugee victims of intimate partner violence; cultural, linguistic and religious factors, barriers and challenges associated with intimate partner violence; and physical, mental and sexual-reproductive trauma and treatment options specific to migrant and refugee women who are victims of intimate partner violence. Please note the date of this forum has been changed to Monday, 3rd June. To attend, please RSVP to by Tuesday, 28th May. 

Register NOW to attend the National Child Protection Conference – Registrations close on 6th June or when all available places are filled

Registrations for the National Child Protection Conference being co-hosted by PeakCare, the Queensland Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Child Protection Peak (QATSICPP) and the Child and Family Welfare Association of Australia (CAFWAA) close on the 6th June. This important conference forms part of Queensland’s BIG WEEK that will consist of not one, not two, but three big events:

  • National Child Protection Conference (24th and 25th June)
  • Advocacy Masterclass led by Professor Cindy Blackstock (26th June), and
  • QATSICPP Members’ Conference (27th and 28th June).

DO NOT MISS OUT - Click HERE to register!

Make a BIG WEEK of it and stay for the Professor Cindy Blackstock Masterclass on 26th June and the QATSICPP Members’ Conference on the 27th and 28th June. To register for these events click here.

The National Child Protection Conference Program

You can view the draft Conference Program by clicking here. Keep an eye out for regular updates being made to the program.

Winners of three free Conference tickets

PeakCare is pleased to announce the winners of three free Conference tickets - Naomi Talamaivao from Life Without Barriers, Michael Waters from Anglicare Southern Queensland and Ruth Hatton, also from Anglicare. Congratulations! PeakCare will be in touch with you about how to claim your prize. 

Still time to join the growing list of Conference Sponsors!

Encourage your organisation to join the ever-growing list of organisations that have stepped up to becomes sponsors of this exciting event - Anglicare Southern Queensland, ACTCOSS’ Gulamga Program,The Benevolent Society, Child Wise, Churches of Christ in Queensland, Compass Seminars, Commsync, Department of Child Safety, Youth and Women, Foundations Care, House with No Steps, Infinity Community Solutions, Integrated Family and Youth Service (IFYS), Life Without Barriers, Mission Australia, Nature Play Qld, Parentline, Queensland Foster and Kinship Care, True Relationships and Reproductive Health, UnitingCare Community, and YCSS Child, Youth and Family Intervention Service.

Visit the website for the details about how your organisation can become a sponsor. Please note that due to the unique sponsorship model that we are using, you do not need to be a large organisation to become a sponsor. Both small and large organisations and those that are somewhere in between all receive the same benefits of becoming a sponsor.

Responding holistically when women and children are most vulnerable to abuse and harm

When considering the reality of domestic and family violence, women and children are most likely to be harmed or die when they leave their abusers. At this fraught time, they are then required to front courts, arrange domestic violence orders and work out parenting plans with their and their children’s abusers. The legal systems women interact with are poles apart and they are required to engage with these processes at a time when they are most vulnerable and afraid whilst needing to put their best foot forward in fighting for the safety of their children. Taking any stand against a person who has perpetrated violence isn’t for the feint hearted; yet any stance is compounded in complexity by the fact that the systems of support legally available don’t communicate and are operated by different jurisdictions. Read more.

If you know of a program, group or organisation that should be In the Spotlight, contact Lorraine Dupree.

Youth Justice in Australia 2017-18

On 10 May 2019, the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) released their annual Youth Justice in Australia 2017-18 report. Read this detailed summary of the report produced by Stephanie Fielder, PeakCare’s Principal Policy Adviser and consider its relevance to the current crisis in Queensland concerning the detention of children in watchhouses. 
Click here to access a full copy of the AIHW report.

Parent morning tea - come by for a cuppa
Brisbane - Monday, 20th May
Presented by Family Inclusion Network

The Family Inclusion Network is holding free small forums to meet with parents who have experienced the Queensland child protection system, and hear their thoughts. Lunch and afternoon tea will provided and transport is available if required. To RSVP, call 07 3013 6030, email or RSVP via Facebook. All conversation during the forum will be confidential and no representatives from the Department of Child Safety will be attending. 

Tough Conversations in Child Protection
Brisbane - Monday, 20th May
Presented by Parentshop

This essential one-day course for child protection professionals and family workers helps to quickly assess and prepare for tough conversations in situations where clarity-of-message can make all the difference for vulnerable families. The course teaches a method to: identify and clearly articulate the strengths and deficits in parents’ caring capacity so that parents have a clear future work plan; comprehensively gather information for holding a factual tough conversation so that as many facts (as can be reasonably gathered) can be brought to bear in conversations with parents; defuse antagonism during a tough conversation while holding a firm line; and identify the important ‘dashboard’ markers for parents so that everyone has clarity about what is expected within a given timeframe. Find out more and register.

Working with complexity: parents with mental health, substance use and family violence issues
Brisbane - Wednesday, 22nd May
Presented by Encompass Family and Community

Frontline workers confront increasingly complex family situations where the safety of children and young people is linked to serious and seemingly chronic parental issues. These issues can also complicate engagement, relationship-based practice, goal-setting and planning. This workshop considers practice skills in working with families to make a difference, when parental issues relate to the often concurrent issues of mental health, substance misuse and family violence. This workshop reflects upon frameworks for understanding parental functioning, including complexity and change theory, and considers how best to respond to the needs of children in these circumstances. Workshop content is evidence-based and focuses on decision making which balances safety with least intrusive intervention. Find out more and register

Backtrack Boys
Brisbane - Sunday, 2nd June
Presented by ANTaR Qld

Backtrack Boys is a powerful documentary by filmmaker Catherine Scott about youth justice reform in the Armidale District. The film follows a group of troubled boys who meet up with the rough talking, free-wheeling jackaroo and youth program leader Bernie Shakeshaft, and hit the road with his legendary dog jumping team. The screening will be a special benefit night to support the education, policy and advocacy work of Australians for Native Title and Reconciliation in Queensland (ANTaR Qld) at All Hallows School Theatre, Dodge Lane, Fortitude Valley. The screening will feature special guest Mr Mick Gooda, Gangulu Man and Respected Leader among First Australians, who has worked as Social Justice Commissioner with the Australian Human Rights Commission and as Co-Commissioner in the Royal Commission into Youth Crime in the Northern Territory. Mr Goodna will address the movement towards constitutional recognition of First Peoples and the Makarrata (treaty) momentum. Book a ticket or view the flyer for more details.

AASW/PeakCare Child Protection Practice Group
Brisbane - Monday, 3rd June
Presented by AASW and PeakCare

May is Domestic and Family Violence Prevention Month - come along and hear from presenter Jatinder Kaur and women with a lived experience of intimate partner violence across diverse cultures. Jatinder Kaur will discuss aspects of intimate partner violence that impact women from Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) backgrounds including: vulnerabilities and risk factors faced by migrant and refugee women; holistic bio-psycho-social assessments of migrant and refugee victims of intimate partner violence; cultural, linguistic and religious factors, barriers and challenges associated with intimate partner violence; and physical, mental and sexual-reproductive trauma and treatment options specific to migrant and refugee women who are victims of intimate partner violence. To attend, please RSVP to by Tuesday, 28th May. 

Picture This 
Brisbane - Friday, 28th June
Presented by Compass Seminars

This workshop will open up the enormous possibilities and potential of the Genogram, a typically underutilised tool, as a process for both assessment, and intervention. Family diagrams (or Genograms) provide a picture of who a person is, where they come from, who matters in their life, and how they belong in the world; as well as providing a framework for understanding present stressors, past struggles and strengths and resources. A Genogram interview is a powerful assessment tool giving you more detailed understanding of case presentations and how to plan targeted interventions. This workshop will equip participants with an understanding of what genograms are and how they can assist in assessment, treatment planning, and potentially used as a therapeutic intervention in themselves. Find out more and register.

Masterclass Series - support clients affected by child sexual assault
Gold Coast - Wednesday, 26th to Friday, 28th June
Presented by Bravehearts

This Bravehearts Masterclass Series is designed to enhance clinical understanding of how to support children and families affected by child sexual assault. On Day 1, participants will gain an understanding of child sexual assault from a family system perspective, and will have an opportunity to explore a variety of considerations including ethical issues, as well as case planning when working with this client group. Day 2 will see participants gain an understanding of sexual behaviour problems, including normal verses problematic behaviour, and will have an opportunity to explore how to work with this client group from a family systems perspective. On Day 3, participants will gaining an understanding of how to teach protective behaviours to a variety of age groups in a therapeutic setting. Register for 1 day only or for all three days for a significant discount! Find out more and register.

EFT Tapping (Emotional Freedom Techniques) Practitioner Training Lvl 1
Brisbane - Friday, 5th July
Presented by
Australian Association of Social Workers

This one-day workshop will explore the use of EFT Tapping as a therapeutic tool. The EFT Level 1 practitioner training benefits social workers as a tool for self-care, supervision and working with individual clients. EFT can be used for self-care to reduce everyday work stress and anxiety lived by a social worker; for supervision with staff when providing supervision and is extremely useful for anxiety, stress and trauma; and with individual clients when counselling clients.Additionally, clients can learn the basics to use on themselves in one session. The workshop will be delivered by Khadine Aharon. Find out more and register.

What is the NDIS and how do I access it?
Arana Hills - Tuesday, 21st May

The National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) will be sponsoring a series of free information sessions about the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) throughout April. Carers Qld will be hosting a session on what the NDIS is and how it can be accessed from 9.30am at Arana Hills Library - 63 Cobbity Crescent, Arana Hills QLD 4054. Register for the session. Upcoming sessions are also being held at CabooltureNorth Lakes and Maroochydore on Wednesday, 22nd May and Redcliffe and Strathpine on Thursday, 23rd May. There are further drop in sessions in various locations around Queensland that offer support in navigating the NIDS, for both service providers and those already enrolled in NDIS. To find out more about sessions in other locations in Queensland, visit the Events section of the NDIS website.


Place-responsive pedagogy
Brisbane - Monday, 27th May

Professor Peter Renshaw, The University of Queensland, and Dr Ron Tooth, Principal of Pullenvale Environmental Education Centre, will share their insights from research within Queensland’s network of Environmental and Outdoor Education Centres, including the application of place-responsive pedagogy to motivate students to become engaged and care within their regular classrooms at this free forum. The research was undertaken in Queensland’s network of twenty-five environmental and outdoor education centres. Find out more and register.

Child-focused approaches when working with parents affected by family and domestic violence
Webinar - Wednesday, 29th May

This free webinar hosted by Child Family Community Australia and Emerging Minds will identify the skills and knowledge that practitioners need in order to have child-focused conversations with adults affected by family and domestic violence (FDV). Professor Sarah Wendt will discuss research she is leading on the skills, understanding and support that practitioners require to be able to identify and respond to presentations from adult perpetrators and victims, and to ensure a focus on children’s social and emotional wellbeing. Find out more and register.


Parents and their allies changing the child protection system
Brisbane - Tuesday, 4th June

In New York City in the 1990s, over 50,000 children were in foster care. Today, this figure is less than 9,000. During the same time, the number of Queensland children in care grew “at an unsustainable rate”. There is still a lot of work needed in Queensland and nationally to tilt the balance of investment towards early intervention and parents finding their voice as advocates. Find out how parents and their allies changed New York City's child welfare system at this special free forum and panel hosted by Micah Projects on Global Day of Parents at Queensland Multicultural Centre, featuring Dr David Tobis. View the flyer for more details or RSVP here.

Inclusion ready ILC workshop
Atherton - Wednesday, 12th June

National Disability Services (NDS), in partnership with Community Services Industry Alliance (CSIA), is offering free workshops across Queensland until July. These free workshops will help organisations and businesses to understand how the National Disability Insurance Agency’s (NDIA) Information, Linkages, and Capacity Building Grants (ILC) can help them become more inclusive of people with disability. Register now for the Atherton session, register for the Cairns session on Friday, 14th June, or find out more about other locations. 


QCOSS State Budget Breakfast 2019
Brisbane - Tuesday, 18th June

This year's QCOSS State Budget Breakfast will be held at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre. The Hon Jackie Trad, Deputy Premier, Treasurer and Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships has been invited to speak and share insights into the impact that the budget will have on Queenslanders experiencing poverty and disadvantage. The Treasurer's presentation will be followed by a panel discussion including: Professor Anne Tiernan, Dean (Engagement), Griffith Business School; Neil Willmett, Chief Executive Officer, Queensland Aboriginal and Islander Health Council; and Anita Veivers, Executive Director, Centacare FNQ. Find out more and register.

Trauma Aware Schooling Conference 2019
Brisbane - Thursday, 20th to Friday, 21st June

The inaugural Trauma Aware Schooling Conference will discuss, learn about and respond to the issues of complex childhood trauma and the need for trauma aware practice in schools. A school student’s experience of complex trauma  (e.g. physical, sexual, and/or emotional abuse, serious neglect, violence, etc.) can have a serious impact on school behaviours, attendance, engagement and (therefore) educational and life outcomes. Worrying behaviours can also have a significant impact on the well-being, efficacy, and retention of teachers and other educators. To address this, government departments and many non-government agencies are increasingly encompassing what is now referred to as trauma-informed practice when supporting or working with children and adolescents. To minimise concerns at school that can lead to student disengagement or disciplinary exclusion, there is a growing call for a collaborative, cross-agency, trauma-informed approach to service provision – which includes the schooling system. Find out more and register.

Young people with intellectual or cognitive disabilities with complex support needs: understanding and supporting transition
Brisbane - Friday, 21st June

As part of the three-year ARC funded research project Lost in Transition exploring the issues of young people with complex support needs in transition, ARROS will be hosting a roundtable discussion discussing: the lived experience of young people with complex needs and intellectual disability in transition; facilitators and barriers to good practice; and transition possibilities. Find out more by viewing the forum information sheet or the roundtable invitation

Are you being served? Subpoenas and warrants in family, child protection, domestic violence and other legal proceedings
Brisbane - Friday, 21st June

Brisbane Family Law Pathways will present this two-hour network panel and workshop examining: laws protecting counselling records of victims of sexual assault; how to respond to subpoenas and warrants; the purpose of case notes, who might read them - notes, comments and writing styles; safety issues and impacts of subpoenas on therapeutic relationships; attending to give evidence and cross-examination in relation to notes; the rights, responsibilities, redactions, privilege, privacy, confidentiality and refusals. Find out more and register.

Working with cultural diversity
Brisbane - Monday, 1st July

Multicultural Development Australia (MDA) will deliver this full-day workshop with ready-to-apply strategies and skills to help achieve better engagement in culturally diverse settings. Nearly one half (49 per cent) of all Australians had either been born overseas or one or both parents had been born overseas. Being aware of cultural differences is crucial for delivering services to and working with people from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds. The training will help participants to: understand cultural diversity in Queensland, understand the challenges of settlement, understand culture and its impact on communication, apply skills needed in cross cultural communication, and develop skills needed to manage cultural diversity. Find out more and register.

FECCA Conference 2019
Hobart - Wednesday, 9th to Friday, 11th October

FECCA is the peak national body representing Australians from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds. FECCA's role is to advocate and promote issues on behalf of its constituency to government, business and the broader community. The 2019 FECCA Conference will highlight new speakers, young people and diverse voices that can articulate the challenges that impact on and issues that are important to people from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds. The Conference Committee wish to hear from people who have a vision to shape multicultural Australia and continue to lead the conversation on important issues by learning from the past, addressing new and emerging issues, and working collaboratively across sectors to find solutions. Share your bright ideas, innovative and strengths based solutions, and new and emerging issues that need addressing. Abstract submissions close Friday, 21st June. Registration for the Conference is also open, with discounted accommodation for attendees.


Visit our Events page for further opportunities in the sector.

Community Engagement Officer, Parentline - yourtown

yourtown is seeking a fulltime Community Engagement Officer for the Parentline program. The role will be based at the Milton head office and will be responsible for formulating and implementing strategies to engage and network with parents and carers of children and young people, community services and government stakeholders in order to successfully promote the Parentline service. Find out more and apply. Applications close Sunday, 19th May.

© 2019 PeakCare Queensland Inc. All rights reserved.

PeakCare Queensland
PO Box 159
Paddington Qld 4064

Click here to apply to become a PeakCare member or supporter. Membership with PeakCare will ensure your organisation is involved in the development of the child protection sector. 

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