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Discussion Starter #1
Hi there,

I will pen down some of my experiences during process of migration to Australia in this post. This need not be true for everyone, though I believe my experiences can serve as a reference for future migrants and folks who are relatively new to Australia.

I am here on a PR - 190 visa (Victoria State Sponsored) and my nominated skill is ICT Business Analyst. I landed in Melbourne on Sunday, 27 Jan 2013 - the day of the Australian Open final. (Shame, the final did not feature Roger Federer).

To give a brief about myself, I am an engineering graduate with 7+ years in a BA role in India and South Africa.

I wish you good luck and hope the time you spend reading this post benefits you.

Cheers!
Appu
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Travel to Down Under

The first and major expense that I faced as a new migrant is cost of the ticket fare. I took the advice some of the active forumers here and went for the cheapest flights available.

As I completed my assignments in South Africa and was in India for a short vacation, this particular flight worked well for me. I came across couple of budget airlines - AirAsia and Tiger which were offering very competitive rates. The ticket costed me INR 27,000 (AUD 465) which was the cheapest at the time of my travel, again as I booked the tickets only 1 month before the date of my travel. I have came across folks who got similar deals for flights from India or South Africa - with flights like Emirates, Singapore Airlines, Thai airlines etc. Do a bit of shop around in the internet and you will find the most appropriate flight fitting your pocket.

Since you are in the job hunting mode, every penny saved is a penny earned.

AirAsia flight experience
Overall, the flight experience was good. If you don't have high expectations and are willing to pay only for the services you avail from the flights, budget flights are your best bet. Though make sure you book your meals and plan according to flying hours. Remember that when you board the connecting flight at Kuala Lumpur to Melbourne, you are asked to leave behind all liquids. Hence make sure the meals that you order come with a drink or be ready to buy water/drinks in the flight - which can appear a bit costly.
The flight crew was pleasant and the food served was brilliant. This is the best bet for bachelors or folks travelling alone. AirAsia is not advised for a young family with kids - because of 5-7 hours of waiting time in KL, cramped leg space for flights from India to KL, the uncertainties that arise while travelling with the little ones.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
How much money is enough?

To be frank, I don't know. Though my numbers can serve as a budget.

The money you need during your days of job hunting depends on what you define as basic needs. And it differs from person to person. For a family person with more than one child, using public transport always can not be the most ideal thing. So he might have to buy a car - which cost anywhere between AUD 3000 to AUD 12000 for a decent second hand car. Of course, the cars you get for AUD 3000 will be quite old (probably 12-15 years old), though in a relatively good condition. The ones at the range of AUD 12,000 could be relatively new (2-3 years old) if you are looking for a budget car like the toyotas, nissans etc.

Groceries would cost anywhere between AUD 60 to AUD 150 per week. Most ideally, for a single person it would not be more than AUD 100 - even if you eat meat, fruits daily. These numbers serves accurate, if you eat at home and pack your food while travelling. Eating out can be quite expensive in Australia, especially for a new migrant who is job hunting. I will write a separate post on the living expenses which can serve as guide.

Travelling around in public transport (bus, train, tram) in Melbourne is relatively easy, provided you have been using public transport. If you are not used to public transport, it would take you couple of days to get used to waiting for the next bus or train and to be disciplined to catch the bus or train in time. The travelling expenses can be at the higher end if you live in the fringes of Melbourne. It can get to some where between AUD 50 - AUD 70 per week - provided you avail only the public transport and not the taxis. Taxis are pretty costly - you end up paying AUD 6 for 2-3 kilometers. Again, I will mention in detail about the transport system in Melbourne in a separate post.

Remember those early days in your career when you shared a room or apartment with another person. Oh yeah, that's where I am now. I have traveled alone and am staying with a friendly Indian family (on a rental basis) on the eastern suburbs. I consider myself lucky to have found someone who allowed me in his house from day one - without even knowing me personally. House sharing or room share is pretty common in Australia. The housing is another major cost during your stay in Australia. In Melbourne, it can cost somewhere between AUD 125 - AUD 500, depending on the options you chose. Again expenses could be different for a single person and a family person. More details about accommodation options later.

Utilities expenses like the electricity, gas are to be paid on top of your weekly/monthly rent. There are some options where the utility charges are included in the rent, though such arrangements are rare and mostly the tenant end up paying higher rents. The standard charges for Gas and electricity for a house will be between AUD 70 (in summer) and AUD 90(in winter) per mo. Again the rates can go up or down based on your usage. Water can cost you between AUD 10 to AUD 30 per month. It is common in Melbourne to receive your utility bill every 2 months. Though you can negotiate with your utility provider on the billing cycle.

Mobile connections can cost you between AUD 19 to AUD 40 per month. At AUD 19, you may lesser talk time (around 100 minutes per month) and at AUD 40, you may get unlimited talk time and texts - again, depending on the plan you chose and the vendor you select. Internet costs you between AUD 19 to AUD 39 per month on different plans. Chose the best option depending on your usage - but always the post paid connections serve cheaper than the prepaid connections. Calling cards or Cheap international callings phones are quite common in Australia. It can start from AUD 10 and can range to AUD 30 per month. You have number of vendors who provide service at competitive prices. I will mention in detail about the different options available and procedures to land with a phone and internet connection as soon as you land in Australia.

To sum up, you may need between AUD 1000 to AUD 1500 per person per month for all your needs in the initial days. Again the figures can go up for a family person because of other overhead costs.
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
The job scenario - AUSTRALIAN EXPERIENCE

Of course, all of us want to land in our first job in Australia at the earliest. Though there is a term that we would read a lot in number of forums and post - the worrying term 'AUSTRALIAN EXPERIENCE'. As like many of you, I started wondering what is the logic behind this.

For instance, lets consider a job applicant in IT. I wondered whether an Australian developer uses a different version of C#, JAVA or .Net for their coding than the ones used in the rest of the world. Or an Australian business analyst uses some alien techniques which is not known to the remaining world. The answer is 'no' - still why is the 'australian experience' used as a trump card while not considering a new migrant for a job or while handing over a reject for a job application. Here are some of my perspectives and experience in last one month.

The job market opens in Australia mostly in the beginning of the year - from February to end of April every year. This stands true for atleast IT and services industry as per the recruiters in Melbourne. Then there is a second wind which the applicants can catch - that comes in July-August when the financial year starts and budget is allocated. Again, you would have read the most ideal time to enter the Australian job market is Feb-April. I have my apprehensions on this. Eventhough you might relatively more ads on job openings during this time in sites like seek, most of the jobs posted are by recruitment agents who are building their applicant database, or in other words collecting CV's for potential candidates. 70% of those ads wont even relate to a potential job. Naturally, the below questions arise..
Does this mean that an applicant should not apply for such jobs?
How to differentiate the real job adverts and the unreal ones?


My take is you NEED TO APPLY FOR ALL THE JOBS adverts available in the sites. Make sure you tailor make your CV and Cover letter to portray that you will fit into the role perfectly. Rather than applying for 100's jobs a day, concentrate on few good potential ones that matches your profile and spend considerable amount of time applying for the job. Once you are done with the one which closely matches your profile, you drill down the other ones.

How to differentiate the real ones from the unreal ones? - this is most toughest part of the job application. You never know whether the job really exists or whether the consultant or the recruiter is trying to warm up the job market for days to come. It does not matter what it is - apply for all the ones as if like it is going to be next employment. Believe in your abilities and have patience. Believe me, the ground realities are bit harsher than you might read or hear from folks in Australia. The job market is getting tougher and the same people who are already employed in Australia for the past years are also competing with you to get the same job. Provided the new migrant and australian-experienced applicant have similar credentials and match to the job profile, the australian-experience candidate is tipped to get to the job. Never lose hope over it - our job is to land in the first job. Lot easier to say than to practise hey? I know many are in my situation right now would agree to this.

Once you start your job hunting, you will realise that getting a first job is lot more tougher than getting the Australian PR or other visas. The best bet is to get employment through your present employer - even at a lower level. Atleast you have an income while you land. If this is not possible, always come with a defined strategy to apply for jobs. At the same time, have a plan B or C or D ready if required. Start cold calling recruitment agents atleast couple of weeks before you travel - letting them you that you are coming on such and such date and it is available immediately for the job. My experience goes like this.

I took a Melbourne number in Skype and set the calls which I receive in the number to be forwarded to my South African or Indian number. The Skype Number would cost you $18 for 3 months, with a chance to extend the period. You need to buy credit starting from $10 to $50, depending on the number of calls you are expecting in the days tp come. More details you may figure out in the Skype site.
I started getting calls and had lined up 3 interviews on the week I landed. I was told I was lucky to land up with interviews or even discussions with recruiters. Lucky I was in this, but not that lucky was I in converting into a job. I am kicking myself now to not have converted the opportunities. The reasons were many - not being 100% prepared with politically correct answers, being too open about many of my opinions, reading the friendliness of the interviewer incorrectly, admitting that I am new to Melbourne and environment and list go on. My take here is to learn from the earlier mistakes and move on. There is no time to brood over missed chances and opportunities don't wait for you. Rather you need to catch the opportunity in the collar.

For all the rejects, I was handed the same reason - 'LACK OF AUSTRALIAN EXPERIENCE'. Really? Anyways, I figured out from one of the recruiter that the employers and recruiters pan out the cliche term - australian experience to all new migrants, where they could have mentioned that the applicant is not fitting to such and such requirements of the job profile. The fact is Australians are such nice people that they hate to offend someone, atleast in the professional front. Also they are very protective about their job environment and are very apprehensive about new persons jelling well with the existing team. Part of the reasons being, the australian style of communication - verbal or written, knowledge and concern for Australian culture and setup and so on. Anyways, one needs to be true to himself/herself and present them the way they are to the recruiter. Whether you land with the job or not is not something you should worry about. Sooner or later you will land in a job and will be having loads of australian experience to level the competition :)

So I start from ground zero now. I am not all lost, rather I am seeing this as the beginning of my real job hunt. I am approaching with all the above said principles, trying to learn from my mistakes and not losing confidence in myself and my vision.

Wish me luck - I need every bit of it.

I will post follow-ups with details of the sites to refer to templates on cover letter, resume, sites to explore for jobs, contact details of recruitment agents in Melbourne, experiences in my interview later and other tips. As I say to myself, lets see how it goes and take it from there.
 

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1000 likes to your posts!!!!

And all the very best with your job hunt and other experiences!!!

Do keep posting them!!!
 

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Great post, was in your shoes in Melbourne for a few minutes.
 

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Great posts freind. I will be following your posts from now on.

Thank you so much for taking the time to write your experiances and I wish you the best.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Mobile and Internet Connections

In Australia, you have postpaid and prepaid options for mobiles. Vodafone, Yes Optus, Telstra, Virgin Mobile are some of the common vendors with decent connectivity through out the city and suburbs. If you ask a Melbournite, their preference would be Telstra, Vodafone, Yes Optus because of coverage and cost. These are the three major players. Virgin mobile, for instance uses the towers of Yes Optus, but come with cheaper rates for a prepaid option. It is always cheaper to go for postpaid connections. Though to land with a postpaid connection, you need an active bank account with address proof and travel documents.

While to take a prepaid connection, it is straight forward. Go with your travel document (passport) and get your sim card. Call up the provider's call center and in 15 minutes your phone is up and running.

And of course, in Australia you can find postpaid plans which provides you with phones. Since you are in the job hunting mode initially, I would suggest to go for a prepaid option in your existing mobile handset.

Yes, there even more cheaper options with mobiles. Its relatively safer to be with a well-known vendor in the job-hunting days. Mobile numbers are portable and you may easily go with another vendor or plan once your contract period is over (for postpaids) or once your talk time expires (for prepaids)

Also, there are large number of cheap international calling providers. You buy their sim like any other prepaid connection and activate the connection in your GSM mobile. I am using one called 'GoTalk' which have 2 plans. gotalk - International Calling | Prepaid Mobile SIM | Mobile Broadband | Global Roaming
Anytime plan which charges 29 cents flag fall for every call and 2 cents for every subsequent minute. Late Night plan which allows you to talk unlimited after 11 PM Australian standard time and charges you a one time 29 cents per call. This works out well for me as I need to call mostly to India and South Africa and it would be working hours in the meanwhile.

You might come across some new terms called flag fall in Australia. Flag fall is nothing but connection charges for every single call connected form your phone. This is mainly for vendors which don't have their own towers and depend on bigger players' towers for connectivity. Also beware that some providers do charge for incoming calls. Hence my two cents, know about everything on the plan before you sign up.

Internet providers are almost the same as above. The charges levied as in the following increasing order for internet through mobile modems - Vodafone, Telstra, Yes Optus. Though this was the case at the time of my shopping, do shop around to get the better deal. And always negotiate on the charges you need to pay. Most of the modems that you bring from outside Australia, need not have to work here. So be prepared to pay monthly installments plus monthly charges for your internet connection. I got a good deal with Vodafone (based on current requirement) - 6GB monthly plus a wifi modem for AUD 19 per month. I needed to provide an Australian bank statement with address proof. For instance, the original price was AUD 29 with a lock in period of 24 months for the plan. As I negotiated and since the sales person was smart enough, I got a better deal.

Make sure the amount that you pay for the data plan and the device is counted as your monthly expense - the sales person can convince you otherwise stating that after the lock in period you own the device.

If you go for a land line internet connection, it will always be cheaper. You need not have to pay again if you need to shift to a different place. Telstra is one of the major and cheapest provider in this space. You can get unlimited data for AUD 39 per month (or at times even cheaper).
 

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Of course, all of us want to land in our first job in Australia at the earliest. Though there is a term that we would read a lot in number of forums and post - the worrying term 'AUSTRALIAN EXPERIENCE'. As like many of you, I started wondering what is the logic behind this.

For instance, lets consider a job applicant in IT. I wondered whether an Australian developer uses a different version of C#, JAVA or .Net for their coding than the ones used in the rest of the world. Or an Australian business analyst uses some alien techniques which is not known to the remaining world. The answer is 'no' - still why is the 'australian experience' used as a trump card while not considering a new migrant for a job or while handing over a reject for a job application. Here are some of my perspectives and experience in last one month.

The job market opens in Australia mostly in the beginning of the year - from February to end of April every year. This stands true for atleast IT and services industry as per the recruiters in Melbourne. Then there is a second wind which the applicants can catch - that comes in July-August when the financial year starts and budget is allocated. Again, you would have read the most ideal time to enter the Australian job market is Feb-April. I have my apprehensions on this. Eventhough you might relatively more ads on job openings during this time in sites like seek, most of the jobs posted are by recruitment agents who are building their applicant database, or in other words collecting CV's for potential candidates. 70% of those ads wont even relate to a potential job. Naturally, the below questions arise..
Does this mean that an applicant should not apply for such jobs?
How to differentiate the real job adverts and the unreal ones?


My take is you NEED TO APPLY FOR ALL THE JOBS adverts available in the sites. Make sure you tailor make your CV and Cover letter to portray that you will fit into the role perfectly. Rather than applying for 100's jobs a day, concentrate on few good potential ones that matches your profile and spend considerable amount of time applying for the job. Once you are done with the one which closely matches your profile, you drill down the other ones.

How to differentiate the real ones from the unreal ones? - this is most toughest part of the job application. You never know whether the job really exists or whether the consultant or the recruiter is trying to warm up the job market for days to come. It does not matter what it is - apply for all the ones as if like it is going to be next employment. Believe in your abilities and have patience. Believe me, the ground realities are bit harsher than you might read or hear from folks in Australia. The job market is getting tougher and the same people who are already employed in Australia for the past years are also competing with you to get the same job. Provided the new migrant and australian-experienced applicant have similar credentials and match to the job profile, the australian-experience candidate is tipped to get to the job. Never lose hope over it - our job is to land in the first job. Lot easier to say than to practise hey? I know many are in my situation right now would agree to this.

Once you start your job hunting, you will realise that getting a first job is lot more tougher than getting the Australian PR or other visas. The best bet is to get employment through your present employer - even at a lower level. Atleast you have an income while you land. If this is not possible, always come with a defined strategy to apply for jobs. At the same time, have a plan B or C or D ready if required. Start cold calling recruitment agents atleast couple of weeks before you travel - letting them you that you are coming on such and such date and it is available immediately for the job. My experience goes like this.

I took a Melbourne number in Skype and set the calls which I receive in the number to be forwarded to my South African or Indian number. The Skype Number would cost you $18 for 3 months, with a chance to extend the period. You need to buy credit starting from $10 to $50, depending on the number of calls you are expecting in the days tp come. More details you may figure out in the Skype site.
I started getting calls and had lined up 3 interviews on the week I landed. I was told I was lucky to land up with interviews or even discussions with recruiters. Lucky I was in this, but not that lucky was I in converting into a job. I am kicking myself now to not have converted the opportunities. The reasons were many - not being 100% prepared with politically correct answers, being too open about many of my opinions, reading the friendliness of the interviewer incorrectly, admitting that I am new to Melbourne and environment and list go on. My take here is to learn from the earlier mistakes and move on. There is no time to brood over missed chances and opportunities don't wait for you. Rather you need to catch the opportunity in the collar.

For all the rejects, I was handed the same reason - 'LACK OF AUSTRALIAN EXPERIENCE'. Really? Anyways, I figured out from one of the recruiter that the employers and recruiters pan out the cliche term - australian experience to all new migrants, where they could have mentioned that the applicant is not fitting to such and such requirements of the job profile. The fact is Australians are such nice people that they hate to offend someone, atleast in the professional front. Also they are very protective about their job environment and are very apprehensive about new persons jelling well with the existing team. Part of the reasons being, the australian style of communication - verbal or written, knowledge and concern for Australian culture and setup and so on. Anyways, one needs to be true to himself/herself and present them the way they are to the recruiter. Whether you land with the job or not is not something you should worry about. Sooner or later you will land in a job and will be having loads of australian experience to level the competition :)

So I start from ground zero now. I am not all lost, rather I am seeing this as the beginning of my real job hunt. I am approaching with all the above said principles, trying to learn from my mistakes and not losing confidence in myself and my vision.

Wish me luck - I need every bit of it.

I will post follow-ups with details of the sites to refer to templates on cover letter, resume, sites to explore for jobs, contact details of recruitment agents in Melbourne, experiences in my interview later and other tips. As I say to myself, lets see how it goes and take it from there.
Good luck. I guess you will get the job soon, based on your positive attitude, self analysis and reasonable expectations. I recruited lot of people in India and this is what most of them lack.
 

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Good luck. I guess you will get the job soon, based on your positive attitude, self analysis and reasonable expectations. I recruited lot of people in India and this is what most of them lack.
Thanks bud for the wishes and kind words.
 

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Thanks for these awesome posts!
The time you have spent on these few posts have really benefited me and my spouse. We will be moving in March to Sydney and with your posts, we have a good idea how to go about getting the basics in place.
 

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One of the most descriptive post I have seen in this forum. Thanks for sharing your experience in detail, especially during your initial period when you need to concentrate a lot on other important things.
You can well write a book for starters:)

I have been to Mel for some official work a couple of yrs ago and stayed at Holiday-Inn at Flinders. Then-on I always wanted to move to Aus and am waiting for my application to get through.

How much wud be the rent for a 2 b/r apt on the way to St Kilda?

You mentioned that approx expenses per person start from AUD 1000, which means for a family of four, it wud be around 4000 bucks. It's astonishing !! especially if you are hunting for a job during your initial period.
I was going thru an article which mentioned that SYdeney has been rated as the 3rd most expensive city this year and Melbourne follows at the 4th spot.
Whether salaries are enough to meet the basic expenses?

All the best for your job hunting and I'm sure that with your attitude, you will land into the one soon.
 
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Hi there,

I will pen down some of my experiences during process of migration to Australia in this post. This need not be true for everyone, though I believe my experiences can serve as a reference for future migrants and folks who are relatively new to Australia.

I am here on a PR - 190 visa (Victoria State Sponsored) and my nominated skill is ICT Business Analyst. I landed in Melbourne on Sunday, 27 Jan 2013 - the day of the Australian Open final. (Shame, the final did not feature Roger Federer).

To give a brief about myself, I am an engineering graduate with 7+ years in a BA role in India and South Africa.

I wish you good luck and hope the time you spend reading this post benefits you.

Cheers!
Appu
Definitely it is a great thread with the must have knowing things for the new comers.
You certainly deserve a big thanks for your such an initiative to help others.
With you all the very best for your future endeavors .
 
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Discussion Starter #17
Thanks for these awesome posts!
The time you have spent on these few posts have really benefited me and my spouse. We will be moving in March to Sydney and with your posts, we have a good idea how to go about getting the basics in place.
Glad to be of your help. Good luck with your move in March.
 

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One of the most descriptive post I have seen in this forum. Thanks for sharing your experience in detail, especially during your initial period when you need to concentrate a lot on other important things.
You can well write a book for starters:)

I have been to Mel for some official work a couple of yrs ago and stayed at Holiday-Inn at Flinders. Then-on I always wanted to move to Aus and am waiting for my application to get through.

How much wud be the rent for a 2 b/r apt on the way to St Kilda?

You mentioned that approx expenses per person start from AUD 1000, which means for a family of four, it wud be around 4000 bucks. It's astonishing !! especially if you are hunting for a job during your initial period.
I was going thru an article which mentioned that SYdeney has been rated as the 3rd most expensive city this year and Melbourne follows at the 4th spot.
Whether salaries are enough to meet the basic expenses?

All the best for your job hunting and I'm sure that with your attitude, you will land into the one soon.
Thanks bud for your kind words.

I need to travel 35 minutes from the Flinders Station via metro to the place where I am put up.

@ St.Kilda - St Kilda is one of the costliest areas to live in Melbourne. You may shell out AUD 350 - AUD 450 for a decent home. It is unlikely you may even find a house for less than AUD 400. Also its not that easy to land a rented property without a job in Australia, even if you are willing to pay the whole year's rent upfront. I would write in detail eventually about accomodation and rental options and some tips on areas to rent in Melbourne.

@ Expenses - AUD 4000 per month will be towards the higher end. Not all in the family need to travel every day initially and hence the numbers are a bit skewed. It may be some between AUD 1800 - AUD 2500, provided you cook at home and stay a relatively cheaper accomodation - like house in easter suburbs or shared accomodation. Sharing a house even with families is pretty common in Australia.

@ Whether the salary will enough? - It really depends on the person or the family. As I told earlier, you can lead a decent life in Australia with AUD 65000. I am not telling that folks who earn lesser than 65k are living badly. The government in Australia, pays part of the tax you pay as benefits through Centerlink once you are a PR or citizen. I would write in detail later on this. To get a picture, please calculate the take home for different salary ranges in the following link - pay calculator
As you would see, you end up paying more tax as your salary package goes higher. In simple terms, there is no much difference between a guy earning AUD65,000 per year to a person AUD 80,000 per year.

Please note that some of the employers pay weekly and some fortnightly. You would get pay slips accordingly and the pay slips act as an important document to land to rented property. You need to prodce atleast 2-3 recent pay slip for the agent to consider your application.

Hope I have answered most of your queries to your satisfaction.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Definitely it is a great thread with the must have knowing things for the new comers.
You certainly deserve a big thanks for your such an initiative to help others.
With you all the very best for your future endeavors .
Its my pleasure to be of your help..
 
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