US SLP moving to Australia

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Lola32 in Scranton, Pennsylvania

46 months ago

Hi, I am currently trying to move to Melbourne, Australia. I am finishing my CFY and wanted to know if anyone had advice about SPA membership, visa, where to look for jobs? Anything would be helpful! Thanks!

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annon in Gardendale, Alabama

46 months ago

It's hard to move to Australia, I would call an embassy or find a forum online about this specific topic. When I was in the UK (a lot of Brits go over) and they all said how impossible it was to move over there and how expensive it is.

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SLPinNYC in New York, New York

42 months ago

Lola32 in Scranton, Pennsylvania said: Hi, I am currently trying to move to Melbourne, Australia. I am finishing my CFY and wanted to know if anyone had advice about SPA membership, visa, where to look for jobs? Anything would be helpful! Thanks!

I am thinking of doing a similar move, can you post how the process is goin
Thanks

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Amyclare in Elk Grove, California

40 months ago

SLPinNYC in New York, New York said: I am thinking of doing a similar move, can you post how the process is goin
Thanks

Fido, I want to find an SLPA position in Australia. If anyone has any tips that would be great!

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sarah in Windsor, Ontario

38 months ago

annon in Gardendale, Alabama said: It's hard to move to Australia, I would call an embassy or find a forum online about this specific topic. When I was in the UK (a lot of Brits go over) and they all said how impossible it was to move over there and how expensive it is.

I just moved back to Canada from Sydney, Australia where I was looking for work as an SLP. There are definitely multiple jobs available over there; however, if an employer can choose a local vs a foreign it was in my experience they choose local. I would urge if you are strongly considering a move to contact both ASHA and SPA to find out more details. If you are already a member of ASHA you will need to get your credentials assessed by SPA and once approved you will need to become a member of SPA to practice. Cost for both is around 1000 that is if you are going in the new year. Otherwise you will have to apply for membership now until the end of december and then reapply again in January.

I left Australia because I realized how difficult it was going to be for me to work in a setting and in a way that made me most comfortable. Plus the financial burdens of the costs associated to holding two membership and certifications was more than my budget could handle at this time. Australia is beautiful so I would urge that maybe you plan a visit, check out the jobs, interview and talk to employers, than make decision about working there before you spend the money necessary and than realize it isn't your thing. I am now back in hometown in Canada dealing with similar issues as I received my training and work experience in the US..
Good luck!

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Jake in Salt Lake City, Utah

36 months ago

sarah in Windsor, Ontario said: I just moved back to Canada from Sydney, Australia where I was looking for work as an SLP. There are definitely multiple jobs available over there; however, if an employer can choose a local vs a foreign it was in my experience they choose local.
I left Australia because I realized how difficult it was going to be for me to work in a setting and in a way that made me most comfortable.

Thanks for your post, that is helpful to know as I am interested in moving from the US to Australia as well. I am wondering, though, what was the specific reason you didn't stay? You say that there were jobs, but its tough because they choose locals first... but were there enough jobs that you could have obtained one? I'm guessing that the jobs you could get were not in the area you wanted to work in (schools, etc?). Any more detail would be helpful to me.

Did you get the feeling like this was the same situation all over Australia, or perhaps more of an issue in Sydney?

I found out that Australia doesn't require a masters, only a bachelors to practice SLP... but do you know if U.S. workers are really marketable with only a bachelors there?

Thanks!

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AusSP in Melbourne, Australia

36 months ago

I'm an Australian-trained SP (as we're known as speech pathologists here) working in Aus. SPA (Speech Pathology Australia) membership is optional here, but you need to be eligible for membership in order to work in Aus for most positions. In Queensland you have to be registered.

A Bachelor degree has traditionally been the entry point to practice in Australia. However, our university system is structured differently to North America, in that our degrees are specialised rather than general - so you only study speech pathology and related subjects (anatomy, psychology, statistics) in a 4 year degree, with minimal (if any) electives. There is no 'general education' requirement - we finish our general education in secondary school. Since 2000, there have also been 2 year coursework Masters entry programs available for students who already have a Bachelor degree in another field.

My guess is that you would not be qualified to practice in Australia with a Bachelor degree from a North American university, because this is not the entry qualification to practice there. However, you would need to have your qualification/s evaluated by SPA to determine this.

In Australia, you can work in hospitals (acute or rehab), schools, community health centres, and private practice. Compared to the US, there is less of a focus on schools in Australia, although I work in schools (in Victoria). Schools in New South Wales do not employ speech pathologists; instead school-aged children see speech pathologists at community health centres. We typically only see students once a fortnight, rather than several times a week in the US, as there aren't enough of us. I think about 50-60% of speech pathologists only work part-time in Australia.

I've not worked in hospitals other than when I was a student, but most acute hospital positions just deal with dysphagia, and maybe brief language/communication screenings.

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Jake in Salt Lake City, Utah

36 months ago

Thanks AusSP! That is very helpful information. It makes more sense now that I understand how a bachelors is structured differently there.

Is the home health business big there? Also, why is it that so many are part time workers? I am guessing that speech pathologists are in high demand there and that salaries might be comparable to the US?

Thanks!

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Rina in Windsor, Ontario

32 months ago

how are the grad schools for speech in Australia compare to canada/us? is it worth making the move to study there. I've heard there are lot of racial and safety issues associated with foreign students.

sarah in Windsor, Ontario said: I just moved back to Canada from Sydney, Australia where I was looking for work as an SLP. There are definitely multiple jobs available over there; however, if an employer can choose a local vs a foreign it was in my experience they choose local. I would urge if you are strongly considering a move to contact both ASHA and SPA to find out more details. If you are already a member of ASHA you will need to get your credentials assessed by SPA and once approved you will need to become a member of SPA to practice. Cost for both is around 1000 that is if you are going in the new year. Otherwise you will have to apply for membership now until the end of december and then reapply again in January.

I left Australia because I realized how difficult it was going to be for me to work in a setting and in a way that made me most comfortable. Plus the financial burdens of the costs associated to holding two membership and certifications was more than my budget could handle at this time. Australia is beautiful so I would urge that maybe you plan a visit, check out the jobs, interview and talk to employers, than make decision about working there before you spend the money necessary and than realize it isn't your thing. I am now back in hometown in Canada dealing with similar issues as I received my training and work experience in the US..
Good luck!

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AusSP in Melbourne, Australia

32 months ago

Rina in Windsor, Ontario said: how are the grad schools for speech in Australia compare to canada/us? is it worth making the move to study there. I've heard there are lot of racial and safety issues associated with foreign students.

Only since 2000 have 2-year Masters entry programs in SLP (or SP as it's known here) been available in Australia. A 4 year, specialised Bachelor degree is the traditional entry-level qualification in Aus. Unlike the US, there are no specific pre-requisites for the Masters courses here, I don't believe (other than you must have a Bachelor degree, in any field). A background in linguistics/psychology/anatomy and physiology would be useful, and may be preferred (but not essential) by some uni's. Unlike US/Canada, there is no Clinical Foundation Year here, no board exam, and no CCC's. If you completed your studies here and returned to Nth America to practice, I'm guessing you would need to at least sit the board exam/s and obtain your CCC's (or have gained sufficient practical experience working in Oz for 1-2 years first) - but I'm only speculating, you would need to check with ASHA/CASLPA.

There were significant media reports of Indian students being attacked in 2009; although apparently the perpetrators were mainly from ethnic minority groups.

To answer previous q'ns from Jake, a lot of SP's are part-time in Oz I'm guessing because it's a female dominated profession with many who have young children. It's difficult to say how the salaries compare given fluctuations in the exchange rate, but I'm guessing between A$65k and A$85k would be average for a SP with a few years' experience in Oz. To my knowledge, home health isn't a big thing here (although it may be known under a different name? I'm not quite sure of the concept... SP's provide therapy in patient's home? That happens a bit with pre-school agencies, I'm guessing not as frequently with adult patients).

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AusSP in Melbourne, Australia

32 months ago

Rina in Windsor, Ontario said: how are the grad schools for speech in Australia compare to canada/us? is it worth making the move to study there. I've heard there are lot of racial and safety issues associated with foreign students.

Only since 2000 have 2-year Masters entry programs in SLP (or SP as it's known here) been available in Australia. A 4 year, specialised Bachelor degree is the traditional entry-level qualification in Aus. Unlike the US, there are no specific pre-requisites for the Masters courses here, I don't believe (other than you must have a Bachelor degree, in any field). A background in linguistics/psychology/anatomy and physiology would be useful, and may be preferred (but not essential) by some uni's. Unlike US/Canada, there is no Clinical Foundation Year here, no board exam, and no CCC's. If you completed your studies here and returned to Nth America to practice, I'm guessing you would need to at least sit the board exam/s and obtain your CCC's (or have gained sufficient practical experience working in Oz for 1-2 years first) - but I'm only speculating, you would need to check with ASHA/CASLPA.

There were significant media reports of Indian students being attacked in 2009; although apparently the perpetrators were mainly from ethnic minority groups.

To answer previous q'ns from Jake, a lot of SP's are part-time in Oz I'm guessing because it's a female dominated profession with many who have young children. It's difficult to say how the salaries compare given fluctuations in the exchange rate, but I'm guessing between A$65k and A$85k would be average for a SP with a few years' experience in Oz. To my knowledge, home health isn't a big thing here (although it may be known under a different name? I'm not quite sure of the concept... SP's provide therapy in patient's home? That happens a bit with pre-school agencies, I'm guessing not as frequently with adult patients).

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Meagan Winterlude in Dallas, Texas

30 months ago

This is great information. I have a Masters in Linguistics from the US, I'm fluent in Spanish, and was an accent and dialect coach until I entered the field of speech pathology. I have an SLP Assistant license in Texas where I work for a home health agency and, following an unexpected and painful divorce and considering I am single and full of intellectual energy, I want to expand my horizons in the field. This would require furthering my education. At the same time I had the idea that I want to move to Australia because I like what I've heard about the life there. I am a rare SLP Assistant who reads a lot and it seems a lot of great research, especially in Audiology is top notch in Australia. My concern is that I'm 35, although lots of mature-aged people study in the US, especially for a Ph.d, so I imagine that since there are good programs in Australia it is similar. I want to specialize in feeding and swallowing in children. It is a concern I've seen a lot doing speech therapy and I have had the repeated dishonor of standing by helpless with the parents as the child on the waiting list for this service has a G-button when he needs to learn to eat or just avoids food while getting thinner and thinner. We call this feeding therapy in the US. Are there many feeding therapists in Australia? You say that visit frequencies are much smaller than in the US, do you think there is the kind of advocacy present at the moment to increase this number based on the research? Thank you, I'm just exploring! :)

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AusSP in Hawthorn, Australia

30 months ago

I was speaking specifically about SLP in the schools when I mentioned the frequency of therapy. I'm not sure how it is in other settings. I think one of the main reasons there is less frequency/service in the schools here is that we don't have a national policy like 'no child left behind' in the US. But even if we had that, at this point in time, we wouldn't have nearly enough SLP's to cover 3 sessions of therapy a week (or whatever it is). SLP is still a relatively small profession in Aus, with something like 5-6 thousand SLP's (around half of whom work part time) in the whole of Australia.

When I studied my degree, there were probably around 20 'mature age' students in a class of about 75. I think the oldest in the class at that time would have been around late 40's, so I don't think 35 is 'too old'.

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Rebecca V in Spanaway, Washington

30 months ago

I am an Australian SLP who is currently working in USA - I have recently put up some information on my site: adventuresinspeechpatholgy.wordpress.com/ under the tab 'Work Abroad'.

The bottom line is: You will need your association's support to help you with your prospective association. If you click on each country on my site you can read up on the Mutual Recognition Agreement for SLPs and see what each country requires you to do to work there. It varies, but it pretty explicit.

This can be about a 3-9 month process depending, so be aware!

There are a lot of 'rural and remote' positions. Check out the search engine seek.com.au - they regularly have postings for more 'out there' places and the big staffing agencies make reference to visas and people with overseas qualifications...... Basically it's harder to recruit people to the outback, so they will accept more people. Look at my site under 'Rural and Remote' for some info - I personally LOVED working out there and is a great Aussie experience!!

Am happy to answer Q's if anyone has any.

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Sayayeeyeohyou in Mississauga, Ontario

29 months ago

Hi Rebecca, your wordpress account doesn't work anymore. I hope you can answer my question.

How were you able to recognize your qualifications from ASHA? Can you give specific timeline (e.g. approximate no. of days/months) from the time you graduated until you were able to secure employment in the US?

I am thinking of pursuing my studies in Australia because I have tried to get in here in North America, but haven't been successful (rejected last year and waitlisted this year and it doesn't seem like I'll even be considered at this point).

I would like to return to the US once I finish but be interested how an Australian trained SLP was able to get their credentials recognized.

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Rebecca V in Spanaway, Washington

29 months ago

Hi,

I just fixed up the link here: adventuresinspeechpathology.wordpress.com/
ASHA has documents that you can view online that you must fill out. I had to get my university to complete how many direct hours clinical placement I had, send a copy of my official transcript, apply to CGFNS in America so that they could verify that my degree met the USA equivalencies etc. It was a long process, but the agency that I was with gave me the list of what I had to do, so it was less stressful.

It took me over 6 months from when I started contacting prospective agencies to flying in the country. It helped that I had previous years of experience beforehand, but the hardest part was finding the agency to sponsor a visa.

In my course in Australia, 1/4 of the Masters students were from North America, and I know that they had to keep checking their countries requirements so that they could work back home. Look at my link on the mutual recognition agreements for more information, but you will likely have to take an exam or do some extra clinical hours.

Let me know if you need anymore information

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chiowan83 in Brooklyn, New York

29 months ago

Rebecca V in Spanaway, Washington said: I am an Australian SLP who is currently working in USA - I have recently put up some information on my site: adventuresinspeechpatholgy.wordpress.com/ under the tab 'Work Abroad'.

The bottom line is: You will need your association's support to help you with your prospective association. If you click on each country on my site you can read up on the Mutual Recognition Agreement for SLPs and see what each country requires you to do to work there. It varies, but it pretty explicit.

This can be about a 3-9 month process depending, so be aware!

There are a lot of 'rural and remote' positions. Check out the search engine seek.com.au - they regularly have postings for more 'out there' places and the big staffing agencies make reference to visas and people with overseas qualifications...... Basically it's harder to recruit people to the outback, so they will accept more people. Look at my site under 'Rural and Remote' for some info - I personally LOVED working out there and is a great Aussie experience!!

Am happy to answer Q's if anyone has any.

Hi. I recently graduated with a Bachelor of Speech Pathology in Australia. I'm really keen to work in the U.S. and as I was born in the U.S, I do have citizenship. However, from what I have heard it can be difficult to gain accreditation with ASHA or with certain state licensing bodies if you hold a Bachelors degree and not a Masters degree from another country (in spite of Mutual Recognition Agreement). I was interested to find out how you have been able to work as a SLP in the U.S. with your Australian qualification? The information you posted was really helpful however i couldn't gain access your site for more information as it said it had been deleted unfortunately. I'd really appreciate any advice!

Chantal

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Rebecca V in Spanaway, Washington

29 months ago

Hi Chantal,

Sorry, I changed my site address: adventuresinspeechpathology.wordpress.com/

Even though you have US citizenship, there is still an extensive process to gain accreditation. I think that you have to have a Masters degree -but check with ASHA as you have a passport, it might be different! SPA will have to write a letter on your behalf and I think if you look at the Mutual Recognition Agreement that you have to be involved in the CPSP program, which is voluntary through SPA. I also had to pay about $500 for CGFNS, a company in America to 'review' my certification and confirm that it is equivalent to the US program. View their site here: www.cgfns.org

I had to pay another company to review my transcript - Educational Perspectives (a NACES approved agency). I know that I had to take a couple of trips into my old university as they had to complete forms regarding my experience too!

You have to complete the ASHA exam - I combined my ASHA exam with a trip to the US so I did it there, otherwise you can do it in Australia, it just means a lot of forward planning (like book the exam at least 2 months in advance). You can look at the testing schedule for the PRAXIS exam here: www.nespaexam.com/ Note: This was the first thing that I did. This whole process requires you to do some things in order, and with processing time taking anywhere from 4-12 weeks, it can be a long wait.

I had a job lined up with a school district before I left for Visa purposes - but you might not need that. However, I still had to get fingerprinted, send more copies of transcripts etc. and apply to the state that I was working for before I left.

So your first step: contact ASHA. Confirm with them about your degree.

Any more questions, just fire away and good luck!

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Espy in Sydney, Australia

17 months ago

There is no 'general education ' requirement - we finish our general education in secondary school.
I am an ASHA certified SLP and moved to Australia in 2009 for family reasons. One of the first things I noticed about the culture in the town I live was that you couldn't assume that just because someone had completed a university degree that they had knowledge of history, literature, philosophy, the Classics, astronomy, geology, physics, natural science. If it wasn’t somenting that was deemed “need to know” to do the job they trained for, they don’t know it. I have yet to find someone that I can have an a stimulating conversation with, other than my husband’s research collegues, and I don’t get a chance to see them very often. In a quality university program, the electives and general education requirements aren’t just a repeat of high school. They provide an opportunity for students to develop their critical thinking skills, expand their minds, and gain some maturity before beginning professional education. The value of a broad education is, thankfully, starting to be recognised in Aus. Take a look at the Melbourne University and the University of WA. I hope this catches on. There’s more to an education than being trained to do a specific job.

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Espy in Sydney, Australia

17 months ago

AusSP in Melbourne, Australia said: There is no 'general education ' requirement - we finish our general education in secondary school. My reply above was to this comment by AusSP. BTW, I live in regional NSW, nt Sydney.

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Me in Denton, Texas

16 months ago

Meagan Winterlude in Dallas, Texas said: This is great information. I have a Masters in Linguistics from the US, I'm fluent in Spanish, and was an accent and dialect coach until I entered the field of speech pathology. I have an SLP Assistant license in Texas where I work for a home health agency and, following an unexpected and painful divorce and considering I am single and full of intellectual energy , I want to expand my horizons in the field. This would require furthering my education . At the same time I had the idea that I want to move to Australia because I like what I've heard about the life there. I am a rare SLP Assistant who reads a lot and it seems a lot of great research, especially in Audiology is top notch in Australia. My concern is that I'm 35, although lots of mature-aged people study in the US, especially for a Ph.d, so I imagine that since there are good programs in Australia it is similar. I want to specialize in feeding and swallowing in children . It is a concern I've seen a lot doing speech therapy and I have had the repeated dishonor of standing by helpless with the parents as the child on the waiting list for this service has a G-button when he needs to learn to eat or just avoids food while getting thinner and thinner. We call this feeding therapy in the US. Are there many feeding therapists in Australia? You say that visit frequencies are much smaller than in the US, do you think there is the kind of advocacy present at the moment to increase this number based on the research? Thank you, I'm just exploring! :)

Hi! Have you gotten any information on Aus programs? I've been on the same path and hopefully try something new :) your age should not be a concern... Have you applied here to a masters program?

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Natalia in Cali, Colombia

14 months ago

Hi!!! i am form Colombia and i´m a speech pathologist. I want to move to Australia to do a posgraduate program related to SLP but it is difficult to find information. i don´t know if there´re only master degrees or i can do another kind of related courses like graduate certificate or something. Another question; is it for you in Us soo expensive as it is here in my conuntry to do a master degree in australia.. thanks a lot

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Ben in San Francisco, California

8 months ago

hi rebecca,
I am Australian, a US permanent resident, and due to the high cost of graduate school here, am thinking of returning to AUS to complete my masters in SP. I wonder if I could email you a few questions to pick your brains; your wordpress site has since been deleted!

Rebecca V in Spanaway, Washington said: I am an Australian SLP who is currently working in USA - I have recently put up some information on my site: adventuresinspeechpatholgy.wordpress.com/ under the tab 'Work Abroad'.

The bottom line is: You will need your association's support to help you with your prospective association. If you click on each country on my site you can read up on the Mutual Recognition Agreement for SLPs and see what each country requires you to do to work there. It varies, but it pretty explicit.

This can be about a 3-9 month process depending, so be aware!

There are a lot of 'rural and remote' positions. Check out the search engine seek.com.au - they regularly have postings for more 'out there' places and the big staffing agencies make reference to visas and people with overseas qualifications...... Basically it's harder to recruit people to the outback, so they will accept more people. Look at my site under 'Rural and Remote' for some info - I personally LOVED working out there and is a great Aussie experience!!

Am happy to answer Q's if anyone has any.

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Ben in San Francisco, California

8 months ago

Rebecca, your wordpress site requires approval to access it. Are you able to give that? Thank you.

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Jason from Boston in Dedham, Massachusetts

8 months ago

Rebecca V in Spanaway, Washington said: I am an Australian SLP who is currently working in USA - I have recently put up some information on my site: adventuresinspeechpatholgy.wordpress.com/ under the tab 'Work Abroad'.

The bottom line is: You will need your association's support to help you with your prospective association. If you click on each country on my site you can read up on the Mutual Recognition Agreement for SLPs and see what each country requires you to do to work there. It varies, but it pretty explicit.

This can be about a 3-9 month process depending, so be aware!

There are a lot of 'rural and remote' positions. Check out the search engine seek.com.au - they regularly have postings for more 'out there' places and the big staffing agencies make reference to visas and people with overseas qualifications...... Basically it's harder to recruit people to the outback, so they will accept more people. Look at my site under 'Rural and Remote' for some info - I personally LOVED working out there and is a great Aussie experience!!

Am happy to answer Q's if anyone has any.

I am in graduate school for speech therapy and am looking to do an externship in Australia. The only criteria I need for this is to have a supervisor who's ASHA accredited and is willing to oversee a portion of my therapy hours. I am really interested in AAC, children with autism, fluency, psychogenic disorders and voice. I was wondering if anyone had any names or facilities that might be worth contacting.
I am hoping to be in Sydney but I'll go anywhere I can. Any direction or information would be helpful! Thanks so much!!

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Bec V in Perth, Australia

3 months ago

I'm an Australian Speech Pathologist wanting to move to the US to work. I am accredited by ASHA and am currently looking for jobs. Can anyone give me an idea of which websites US Speechies usually look for work? Also I've heard that community health jobs have better working conditions than schools? Also since insurance and healthcare is very different to Aus, can anyone give me an idea about what work conditions/ benefits I should be enquiring about? Many thanks in advance. If anyone else is in the same process or wants information about SP jobs in Western Australia just shout out!

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