Friday, 25 February 2011

Back in Oz!

It's nearly been an entire week since I arrived back in Sydney, which considering the earthquake in Christchurch which struck two days after we left there, I'm pretty thankful about!

After a nice relaxing holiday (well it wasn't really relaxing, it was pretty hectic), people usually need a day or two to ease themselves back into the daily grind of life. I was not so lucky, and was immediately thrown in the deep end for my PhD confirmation...but not before I was struck by some mystery bug which nearly caused me to puke in my supervisors office (luckily I managed to run to the bathroom in time)!

As I have now been an official PhD student for an entire year (how scary is that!), the time had come for me to essentially defend my work, show that it is useful, and tell everyone what I will be doing next. This consists of a presentation and a dreaded meeting with my committee afterward when they grill you about your general, it went absolutely fine, but I was picked up on my lack of statistics knowledge. Damn maths continues to ruin my life! Well anyway, I'm sure that you will all be pleased to know that I passed, and am somehow allowed to continue with my PhD. I suppose passing was for the best - if I failed I would be chucked out of Australia....

I realise that I haven't posted any photos to my blog FOREVER! Here are just a few from NZ to wet your appetite...

Friday, 18 February 2011

New Zealand Adventures – Mt Cook (18/02/2011)

Yet another early start today, this time to maximise the time we could spend in Aoraki/Mt Cook National Park, just a 1 hour drive from Omarama. Originally our plan was to spend the next few days in Dunedin, before heading back to Christchurch to catch our plane home. However, after talking to a few kiwis, and fellow NZ travellers, we decided to scrap the original plan so we could spend today in Mt Cook, and by golly I’m glad that we did. Not only did it cut down our driving time considerably, but Mt Cook was yet another fantastically beautiful place.

When we first arrived, the weather wasn’t great, with a fair bit of cloud about covering the mountains, which meant we had only occasional glimpses of snow (and ice) as we made our way to the NP. With a bit of time though, the clouds began to clear away to give some pretty nice views. Given our limited time (and tramping experience), we opted for a short 3.5 hour walk up the Hooker Valley, apparently the most popular of the walks at Mt Cook. The walk makes its way up through the Hooker Valley, passing probably 5 or so glaciers on our left on the way up, culminating with the Hooker Glacier, Hooker Lake, and a big mountain at the end. I say a big mountain as Laura and I had quite a debate as to what mountain this actually was – to begin with, the peak was shrouded with cloud, which made identification more difficult. After much debate, we finally decided that the mountain was in fact, Mt Cook. So there you have it, we saw the tallest mountain in NZ, and even saw some glaciers flowing down. It was pretty amazing, it’s just a bit of a shame the weather wasn’t just that little bit better, then it would have been fantastic.

As I mentioned earlier, this walk should have been 3.5 took us 5! Now, this isn’t because we are both ridiculously slow walkers, but more due to the fact that we are obsessive photographers! On the way down, we must have stopped every 10 minutes or so to photograph some plant or other. We are clearly just too cool for school! I should state that I took some pretty good ones so please wait until you commence the mockery! No camera problems to speak of – but my filters remain firmly stuck together.

Laura drove again today –I’m still alive!!

New Zealand Adventures – Driving North and Queenstown (17/02/2011)

We awoke early to say goodbye to Te Anau, and make our way back north to Omarama, with a quick stop in Queenstown. Once again, we were gifted with marvellous weather which made the drive even better due to the fantastic views we were afforded. As I mentioned, we had a quick stop in Queenstown, the adventure capital of south island where crazy people go sky-diving, bungee jumping, and paragliding – I was not one of the those people, firstly due to the fact that we had only 4 hours to spare, and secondly because I’m a big wuss! Instead, Laura and I decided to be old farts and check out the botanical gardens (well I’m not sure if they are botanical gardens but they are gardens nonetheless; in the process, we stopped to take some photos of drift-wood, and received some very strange looks from passers by – clearly they just don’t understand art! I did, however, get a pretty cool photo of a lily which I’m rather proud of....

As our time came to an end in Queenstown, I grabbed a quick ice-cream (it’s not a proper holiday unless you have an ice-cream everyday right?), and we were off again, heading further north to Omarama. Now Omarama is an interesting little place, and I mean very little. According to our Lonely Planet guide, it has a population of 350 people; I think it’s considerably less than that as there are literally 20 houses – perhaps the tourists also count as the local population? I think it’s a sheep farming town, famous for its Merino wool, so there is nothing going on whatsoever.

I should also mention that my bad luck with my camera continues...this time two of my filters have gotten wedged together without any means to separate them! Any suggestions as to how to separate these will be most welcome...otherwise I’m going to have to fork out $100 for a new polariser and UV filter. I think my camera may be cursed...

New Zealand Adventures – Manapouri (16/02/2011)

It seems my camera woes continue....after downloading yesterdays photos to my computer I saw that many of my photos were blurry, when a few days ago they were not. This clearly got me worried that something serious has gone wrong with the camera sensor, so I had mass clean of my lenses, and took most photos using manual focus, and hoped that the photos would turn out better today.

The weather was once again fantastic, and after a well deserved lie in, we went to the nearby town of Manapouri to do a spot of hiking (or tramping if you’re kiwi). We opted for a short 3.5 hour walk called the “circular track”. The track began by getting a water taxi across the river that feeds into (or out of) Lake Manapouri – I swear I haven’t spent as much time on boats as I have in the recent months! So off we went, tramping away. The walk went through some really lush forest which had loads of amazing mushrooms that I obviously took photos of. For the first half hour or so, the walk was very pleasant, and then it started to go all know (well maybe you don’t) that I’m not a fan of uphill walking, so the sweat began pouring off me – it was hot as well though. Eventually, we reached the top of this hill (it felt like a mountain), and got a lovely view of Mt. Titiroa and the surrounding mountains/foothills/lakes. After stopping for lunch, we realised that we didn’t have much time to get back to the water-taxi pick up point; the race for the taxi started, and we frog-marched down the hill (with a few stops for mushroom photo taking). When we reached the bottom of the hill, and began the walk along the river front, we realised that we hadn’t gained enough time, so I ran (yes that’s right – I RAN!) along the track to make it in time – which we did! Yet another go me moment! On the way back we stopped at Fraser Beach on the shore of Lake Manapouri for a well deserved paddle in the lake. It turned out to be a very hot day, so wading in the cool water was lovely.

Our evenings activities consisted of a massive photo-geeking session, discussions regarding the universe and it’s creation, and consequently how pointless sea ice research is!. We headed off down to the shore of Lake Te Anau for sunset and moonrise, and proceeded to take tens of photos of sunset over the mountains across the lake, and the reflections in the water. It was beautiful, and I also learned how to do a few fancy things with my camera too – always a bonus. Another successful day of photography.

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

New Zealand Adventures – Milford Sound (15/02/2011)

I’m writing this to you as I sit outside on my balcony overlooking Lake Te Anau, watching the sun set over the mountains in the distance without a cloud in sight! It is simply so beautiful here, words cannot describe it.

Today has been a fantastic day, simply due to the amazing scenery we have been fortunate enough to spend the whole day enjoying; when coupled with the most beautiful clear blue sky, the day was even better! One of the major attractions of the Te Anau area is its proximity to the infamous Milford Sound, which I also studied at school. The sound itself is 120km away, but this through some of the most picturesque scenery I have ever driven through; massive rugged peaks, glaciers, huge lakes – you name it, we pretty much saw it. The drive was pretty scary at some stages due to the sheer drops, but more due to the fact that an American was driving...(no offense Melinda!). Laura, the aforementioned American, has never driven on the left hand side of the road before, but was willing to give it a go in order to give me a break from the many hours of driving I have clocked up on this trip. At first, she was fine, and I was very impressed...but when we entered the more windy, narrower roads, she got a bit freaked out, and nearly sent us flying over the side of a bridge – OK, I exaggerate, but she did send us flying into a curb on a bridge and nearly took the wing mirror out!

We soon arrived at Milford Sound (not soon enough!), just in time for the last cloud to lift, leaving a serenely calm sound for us to explore. We went expecting to be able to do a spot of hiking (or tramping as the kiwis call it), but this was not possible as there aren’t actually any tracks (well except a 4 day-long one!). Instead, we decided to join the masses of tourists and hop on a boat to enjoy a scenic boat ride up and down the Sound. This turned out to be pretty damn fantastic – the scenery was breath-taking and I won’t even attempt to describe it. Instead you will have to wait until I post some photos, and believe me, I took a lot! Laura even mentioned that I have surpassed her in terms of photography skill!! This was quite a shock, and I think she may have been buttering me up so I drove back home (which I did), but I’m pretty impressed with a few of the photos I took. In addition to the fantastic scenery, we also saw some New Zealand Fur Seals and even some very rare yellow-crested fjordland penguins (or some similar name)!

We ended the day by slowly making our way back to Te Anau, stopping at a few places for short walks through some lush forest where everything was green due to the moss/lichen that was growing everywhere, as well as seeing some waterfalls and lakes. It was a wonderful day, and I can’t wait to post some of my photos so you can see you amazing fjordlands national park is! It definitely boosted by opinion of NZ even further!

New Zealand Adventures – Fox Glacier and Driving South (14/02/2011)

I’m sure you will all be happy to know that the rain finally stopped, and the cloud even cleared! This was all timed perfectly for when we left Franz Josef (obviously!), but we decided to check out the nearby Fox Glacier, located 20km or so further south than Franz Josef, still within “Glacier Country”. So as I mentioned, the cloud lifted just as we rounded the last corner to Fox, giving some pretty damn impressive views! At this point, we decided to stop at the side of the road, take a few photos, and then head closer to Fox. It was at this point that I took my camera out for the first time since yesterdays downpour, and man was I in for a lens has masses of condensation built up on the inside, which clearly makes photo-taking impossible. I was really really pissed off about this (quite justifiably so I think) as a) this usually means the lens is f****d, b) that it would subsequently cost me more money, and c) I couldn’t take any photos. Luckily, after much stressing, the lens did eventually dry out, and is now fine...I’m sure you are all very relieved to hear this. After getting back in the car from our quick stop, I instantly realised that a swarm of sand flies had entered the car which led me to freak out slightly as they proceeded to attack me (I have the bite marks as evidence of this attack)! Not a good start to the day.

We took a quick walk up to the glacier terminus, and Laura snapped away at her camera (mine was still broken at this point, although I did attempt to use my telephoto lens; not the easiest when taking landscape shots!). After our lovely jaunt to the glacier, we headed back to the car and prepared ourselves for a long drive ahead. We were heading another 550-600km further south to Te Anau, through much more windy roads. As on the drive a few days previously, the weather turned out to be pretty good, which gave even more great views as we crossed the Southern Alps, and made our way next to the Tasman Sea. I won’t bore you with details of the drive, but about 8-9 hours later, we arrived at Te Anau – I was absolutely shattered, having driven 1200km in basically two days. EUGH! Luckily, the views of mountains just over a lake which sits straight in front of our accommodation, more than made up for it.

Sunday, 13 February 2011

New Zealand Adventures – Franz Josef

One of the things that I simply had to do whilst in NZ was to do the Franz Josef glacier walk. As you all know, I am a big geography geek, and one of the things I remember learning at school was how Franz Josef had retreated rapidly in the past 100 years or so. Obviously I had to step foot on this “frozen ice cube” – a sadly un-scientific description of the glacier from our guide.

Now the weather was absolutely shite when we woke up – it had been pissing it down all night so the car park was basically flooded, and it continued to do so all bloody day (and still does). Having pre-payed for the guided walk on the glacier, we thought we had to go despite the rain, so off we went. After being kitted with waterproofs, boots, and crampons (along with 40 or so other people), we got on the bus and 10 minutes later began the walk through rainforest to the glacier. I most certainly didn’t expect there to be rainforest practically right up the glacier front; the Franz Josef terminus is only at 160masl or something, making it a very rare glacier, which allows the rainforest to grow near the glacier as it is very warm. However, the ice can also co-exist due to the massive accumulation zone of the glacier (the area where the snow falls, feeding the glacier) which is the size of Christchurch city, and the fairly small valley which this feeds, where the glacier flows. The rain continued to pour, and before even reaching the glacier, we were soaked. The actual walk was really amazing; the ice had some fantastic blue colours to it and it was just awesome being able to walk on a glacier, and see all the shapes and colours (previously I have only walked on a snow covered glacier in Svalbard). It was a real shame that it was raining so hard as it meant I took about 3 photos on the whole trip, but it didn’t ruin the overall experience and I would definitely recommend it to anyone!

We headed back, and realised how wet we had actually gotten. Despite a waterproof cover on my backpack, a puddle had accumulated soaking everything within it (there was even a massive collection of water within the waterproof cover – it’s no wonder I thought the bag had gotten heavier); the same for my camera bag which I was very annoyed about, but luckily the camera body was dry. Everything has subsequently been hung up in the bathroom to dry – and I mean everything. My money has been hung up on the shower door, socks and gloves too – a chair has been brought in to hang up my clothes and bags – the bathroom is literally crammed full of stuff to dry (there is a heater in the bathroom by the way, hence using it as a dry room).Fingers crossed everything is dry before we leave tomorrow morning.

p.s. you will all be happy to know that I didn’t get wedged in a crevasse!
pps – the rain continues to pour

New Zealand Adventures – Picton and travelling south

As I said in the previous blog, our accommodation at Picton was interesting to say the least. We arrived at the hostel, having booked a private room and proceeded to check in. After 15 minutes or so, and still checking in, we realised that something was wrong, and were then finally told that our room had been given up, but that we had been given a free “upgrade” to a flat. Off we went to the flat, and as we arrived at the door, she mentioned that we didn’t actually have the flat to ourselves, but we sharing with a couple. She showed us around the flat, we got the bedroom, and quickly found out that we had been given a double bed – this wasn’t really a big deal, but sharing a bed with your co-supervisor may be frowned upon – we certainly found it extremely amusing whilst trying to get to sleep later that night with both of us perched on the ends of the bed. I think I scared Laura as, and I quote, “every time you moved I thought there was an earthquake”! CHEERS!

To add more amusement to the already hilarious situation, the manageress of the hostel was abso-bloody-lutely crazy...and I mean CRAZY! She looked like some hippy woman, and was clearly on drugs of some kind (or a few at once!). She wouldn’t stop yabbering, and even gave us a little dance show/magic performance which ended with her pulling $20 out of her pocket. She was describing a road in NZ to us, and said that it made her want to commit suicide due to the overhanging rocks...I mean that’s not normal! I really don’t know how to explain what she was like, but just know that she was definitely an interesting character.

The following morning, after leaving our lovely (NOT!) hostel behind, and the crazy lady with it, we picked up our car, a tiny automatic Hyundai Getz that I squeeze myself into, and after a quick lesson from Laura regarding how to drive an automatic, our 550km drive south to Franz Josef began – into the unknown – and both of us hoping that we don’t piss eachother off too much. The journey began discussing our car crash experiences, which was rather amusing I thought. The weather was pretty good which made for some fantastic views of NZ, over farmland (we obviously saw some sheep), rivers, mountains and such like – it is a very beautiful country and brings out my inner geography geek! A clear example of this is me explaining to Laura what terracettes are – many of you had also had the pleasure of this mini-lecture! At one point, when nearing Franz Josef, we were driving past some mountains with many little valleys cut into it, and you could see the clouds/fog flowing down the valleys which was pretty amazing – I described this as a glacier of cloud!

After 7 hours of driving, we reached Franz Josef, checked into our hotel (not a hostel this time - no problems!) and slept!

New Zealand Adventures – Wellington

Kia Ora everyone!

Sorry it’s taken me a few days to get this to you all but I’ve been pretty busy, and the internet seems hard to come by in NZ.

After my craziness after arriving back in Hobart, I caught a plane to Sydney, and 24 hours later I was in NZ – the life of a grad student eh? After getting to our hotel at probably 1am, I was up at 6am to do last minute preparations for my presentation. I was actually pretty glad that my presentation was in the morning as I thought it would mean I could such luck but more about that later. I’m sure you will all be pleased to know that my presentation went fairly well – both my supervisor and co-supervisor seemed very happy, and a few people even told Matt that I did very well. Go me! According to Laura (my co-supervisor), I looked a little too relaxed up on the stage, and apparently bored! I can assure you all that I felt very nervous so God knows why I looked bored. The conference was OK, but most things weren’t relevant to me so I didn’t gain much from it scientifically.

So as I said, I was hoping that I would have some free time to explore Wellington and catch up with my friend Sean. However, I had my confirmation report to finish which was already a day late (slap on the wrist). Knowing my priorities, I still managed to hang out with Sean. We went off to enjoy a walk around the Botanical Gardens, which meant a very short trip up the “cable car”. I put cable car in speech marks as, in my opinion, it wasn’t a cable car, but rather a funicular railway – Sean and I proceeded to have a rather heated discussion about this.

That evening was the conference dinner, which I would have happily missed so I could finish the damn report; however, as Matt had spent $150 on it, I thought I really should attend, plus it was a good excuse not to do the report....I hope it’s coming across how much I did not want to do it! After a bus ride that seemed to last forever, we reached our conference dinner destination – it was a beautiful secluded spot overlooking the Cook Strait (the water between North and South Islands). The weather was absolutely amazing with clear skies, which made for a gorgeous sunset over the South Island. The food wasn’t too shabby either.

The report was finished the next morning (YAY!) which meant I could finally start relaxing, and get prepared for my NZ adventures. This began with the most fantastic ferry ride aboard the InterIslander which took us from Wellington in the North Island, to Picton in the South Island. The weather from the previous day remained, which made for a gob-smacking sunset over Queen Charlotte Sound. Within 5 minutes of being in South Island, I knew I loved it already. Our accommodation for the night at Picton was interesting, but I will give details about that in the next blog!

Saturday, 5 February 2011

Antarctic Voyage - the final blog!

Well guys, the end is nigh. This is the last blog post that I will be
sending from the Aurora Australis, as in 9 hours time (or in 90nm),
we will be back in Hobart.

The past few days have been fairly action packed, with people busy
packing up the labs, cleaning bunks, and generally readying
themselves for life back on firm land. Everyone seems to have reached
the point when they will be happy to be back home, and I am one of
those people. Don't get me wrong, I have had an absolutely fantastic
time, and in addition to learning a lot, I have got to experience how
oceanographic data is actually collected, and made some good friends
along the way - I couldn't really have asked for more. Nevertheless,
I am waiting in anticipation for getting back (even if it just for a
day before I jet off to NZ), we are so close that I can practically
smell land!

For our last night on the ship, we saw the first sunset in god knows
how long. The clouds parted slightly, making way for the golden sun
to shine down on us, and cast beautiful colours on the surrounding
skies, with albatross flying around.

I should also mention that I won one category in the Aurora Australis
Photo Competition! I submitted a few, not actually expecting to win
at all, but it was announced earlier that my photo of a rope with
lots of icicles hanging off it, won in the category "ship and
science". I'm actually quite proud, and even got a certificate for my

Well, there you have it. I hope you've enjoyed my ramblings from my
journey south - prepare yourself for round 3 detailing my travels in

Over and out

Thursday, 3 February 2011

Antarctic Voyage - 03/02/2011

Today, King Neptune decided to treat us to a little bit of bad
weather, which continues at this moment. Sleep was very hard to come
by due to all the pitching and rolling, which meant that at one
minute, my feet were being squashed at the end of the bed, and the
next minute, my head. Coupled with all the creaking coming from the
disused beds above, and to the side of me, as well as everything else
in the cabin, it's no wonder I woke up feeling bad. However, I'm sure
I'm not half as bad as some people on the ship after a drunken night.
As soon as I got out of bed, I managed to slide half way out of my
room on my feet, which sounds more fun that it actually was. The
constant battle to stay upright is rather tiring, and a good few
times I have fallen onto walls, or other people. At lunch, as soon as
I sat down, my chair (along with everyone else's) went sliding across
the floor, making for rather difficult eating conditions, but amusing

Our "marine" fancy dress theme produced some excellent costumes from
the few materials that were onboard - I was actually really
impressed, but also equally disturbed some one in particular that I
don't wish to mention. One of the funniest was when our Voyage
Leader, and Chief Scientist, came out wearing crew overalls with 2
hard hats as breasts, and two for arse-cheeks. It produced a good
many laughs, and it was strange how comfortable he seemed...! After
some "Antarctic bottom water" (aka vodka) was spread around in sample
tubes, the party really got started, but at this point I had to leave
as I am still trying to get into a normal sleeping pattern.

Although the rolling was sure to have made a few hung-over people
feel even worse, I wasn't actually too bad (I did succumb to taking a
sea sickness tablet which may explain it. As the sun was shining
brilliantly, I even ventured outside onto deck, which I'm not sure if
I was supposed to do considering the ship was rolling at 45 degrees!
I managed to stay on my feet the whole time though, and the fresh air
definitely woke me up a bit. I also spent a bit of time up on the
bridge, watching the ship crash into waves which we subsequently
turned into huge swathes of sea-spray spreading in all directions; an
excellent sight to see!

Not much else to report - the rolling put an unfortunate end to my
report writing.

Distance to Hobart - 650nm (we have slowed considerably due to the

Wednesday, 2 February 2011

Antarctic Voyage - 02/02/2011[Sec=Unclassified]

Hello all,

Today we were visited by the ruler of the ocean, King Neptune (and
his minions), to welcome us to his realm south of 60S, although
rather belatedly. After dressing in old clothes we were warned to
wear, us "ocean virgins" were gathered in the ships mess, and told to
bow before the king on a plastic tarp, the presence of which filled
me with nervousness. After some speech was given, the initiation
began, starting with the ripping of a few peoples tops...luckily only
the top two buttons popped off my shirt! In groups of three or four,
we were called up and forced to bow at Neptune's feet, waiting in
anticipation for what was to come. Firstly Neptune's wife pulled out
a massive fish, which we were made to kiss, and subsequently had
smeared all over us (and I mean everywhere); this would have been ok
if it weren't for the fact that the fish was had been cut open, and
was all juice - BLEUGH!

Next we were treated to delights "from the depths". This involved
having sea-crap (not literally - a mix of vegemite, peanut butter,
sweet corn and some other stuff), again smeared over our faces, in
our ears, and rubbed into our hair. I fortunately got away with this
section quite lightly, although it was still rather difficult to wash

Lastly, we had to drink "the fluids of the ocean", which I think was
quite literally sea water, with added blue food colouring for good
measure. I'm not sure if there was anything else in this drink, but
it tasted pretty damn rank, so down it went in one gulp! And that was
that. Initiation over. It wasn't as bad as I was expecting, but was a
good laugh nonetheless. I'm told we get a nice certificate for
completing this but I am yet to see it; I'm hoping I do get one as
proof - I don't particularly want to do it again.

Only 846 nautical miles left until Hobart! I'm told the weather is
supposed to get worse over the coming days. Let's hope King Neptune
was pleased with us all....


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Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Antarctic Voyage - 01/02/2011[Sec=Unclassified]

Well everyone, the final CTD has come and gone, and we are now
steaming home full throttle. In total, we deployed 149 CTDs and took
just short of 1750 samples, all within what, 4 weeks. As us night
shifters milked the bottles for the last time, a wave of relief swept
over us, but also a strange feeling of "what am I going to do now?".
Having basically sampled for 4 weeks non-stop, I'm sure I will dream
of CTDs for the next few days or so, but am so relieved that I can
finally try and return my sleeping pattern to normal, and actually
socialise with all onboard.

Today, I had my first proper dinner of the voyage, having skipped it
for the past weeks due to the crazy times of the shift. It was so
strange to see so many people eating at once; there is usually just a
few of us at breakfast and lunch so I don't get to see that many
people. With all the marine science work done, the time for relaxing
is upon us. Tomorrow we are having a fancy dress party with an
obvious "ocean" theme so everybody has been busying themselves
fashioning costumes from whatever they can find. We are also having
our initiation for crossing the Antarctic Circle tomorrow...a tad
late, but better late than never. I'm a tad scared about this as a
few rumours are being spread around - I will let you know what

In addition to the excitment with freedom at last, there was a sudden
frenzy to heli-deck as the firstmate announced over the tannoy that
there was a deal whale floating by. I happened to be on deck anyway,
and floating by was a baby humpback whale. It was pretty sad, but
equally fascinating. I think it had only recently died as the body
seemed fairly intact.

I don't think I will bother with the usual stats anymore as the trip
back isn't half as interesting. Instead, I will provide a countdown
of nautical miles to Hobart.

Nautical Miles until Hobart: 1,106
Sea sickness: None
Wildlife: Dead baby humpback whale


Australian Antarctic Division - Commonwealth of Australia
IMPORTANT: This transmission is intended for the addressee only. If you are not the
intended recipient, you are notified that use or dissemination of this communication is
strictly prohibited by Commonwealth law. If you have received this transmission in error,
please notify the sender immediately by e-mail or by telephoning +61 3 6232 3209 and
DELETE the message.
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