Charles Sturt University
Charles Sturt University

Associate Professor Jane Heller

Associate Professor Jane Heller

BSc, BVSc(Hons), DipVetClinStud, MVetClinStud, PhD, MANZCVS, Dipl. EVCPH

Jane graduated from a Bachelor of Science in 1995 and a Bachelor of Veterinary Science in 2000.  After graduation, Jane worked initially in small animal medicine in private practice, before undertaking an internship and then a Master of Veterinary Clinical Studies at the University of Sydney, where she was 'switched on' to Veterinary Epidemiology.  Jane then went to Glasgow to concentrate on quantitative epidemiology, where she was employed as a research fellow whilst simultaneously completing a PhD, using risk assessment methodology to address the issue of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) in dogs. During this period, Jane also attained specialist status within the European College of Veterinary Public Health, in the subspecialty of population medicine and membership of the Australian and New Zealand College of Veterinary Scientists. In 2009, Jane took up a faculty position at Charles Sturt University.

Jane's main interest is in infectious disease epidemiology, with particular reference to antimicrobial resistant organisms, and the potential for zoonotic transfer of pathogens between animals and humans. She is involved in numerous research projects addressing zoonotic disease, including Q fever, brucellosis, MRSA, Chlamydia psittaci and E.coli O157. Jane also uses her epidemiological skills to contribute to research in different areas, including companion animal and equine health. She also has a particular interest in Evidence Based Veterinary Medicine and the application of diagnostic tests across all fields. In addition to this, Jane has a strong interest in student wellness and was instrumental in setting up a student wellness program for vet students at CSU.

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Research Projects

  • Zoonoses and One Health
  • Antimicrobial resistance
  • MRSA
  • Q fever
 Ongoing Projects
  • MRSA in pig production in Australia – (Principal Investigator). Funded by Australia Pork Limited.
  • Taking the Q (query) out of Q fever: Developing a better understanding of the drivers of Q fever spread in a farmed unit (Co-investigator), Funded by Rural Research and Development for Profit. Multi-institutional collaboration.
  • Review of food safety and market access risk in supply chains (Co-investigator), Funded by Meat and Livestock Australia.
  • Improving our understanding of knowledge and attitudes towards Q fever disease and vaccines in cat breeders (Co-investigator), Funded by Australian Companion Animal Health Foundation. Collaboration with University of Sydney.
  • Q fever: How common is it and how can we best prevent it? Research to inform vaccine policy for Australia and internationally - (Co-Investigator), Funded by National Health and Medical Research Council.
  • E.coli O157 colonisation and shedding in cattle - (Principal Investigator, lead at CSU). Funded by Meat and Livestock Australia. Collaboration with University of Sydney.
  • Condemnation of cattle carcases at meat inspection due to malignant neoplasia - (Principal Investigator). Funded by Meat and Livestock Australia.
  • Identifying risk factors for Coxiella burnetii (Q fever) exposure. Funded internally by CSU.

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Publications (up to beginning 2017)

  • McConnel CS, McNeil AA, Hadrich, JC, Lombard JE, Franklyn GB, Heller J (In Press) Dairy cow disability weights for the Disease-Adjusted Lactation (DALact) metric. Prev Vet Med.
  • Blackney L, Gunn A, Heller J, Bhanugopan M (In Press) The incidence and risk factors associated with late embryonic / early fetal mortality in dairy cows in the Riverina region of NSW, Australia: A retrospective study. New Zeal Vet J.
  • Arif S, Thomson PC, Hernandez-Jover M, McGill DM, Warriach HM, Heller J (In Press) Knowledge, attitudes and practices (KAP) relating to brucellosis in smallholder farmers in Pakistan. PLOS ONE.
  • Chan J, Doyle B, Branley J, Sheppeard V, Viney K, Quinn H, Janover O, McCready M, Gabor M, Sangster N, Heller J (In Press) An outbreak of psittacosis at a veterinary school demonstrating a novel source of transmission. One Health.
  • Hyams J, Raidal S, Hayes L, Heller J (In Press) Demographic and preliminary employment data of the first two graduate cohorts from a rural veterinary school. Aust Vet J.
  • Owens CS, Hilbert BJ, Hughes KJ, Heller J, Nielsen S, Trope GD (In Press) A survey of equine castration techniques, preferences and outcomes among Australian veterinarians. Aust Vet J.
  • Jelocnik M, Branley J, Heller J, Raidal S, Aldersn S, Galea F Gabor M, Polkinghorne A (2017) Multilocus sequence typing identifies an avian-like Chlamydia psittaci strain involved in equine placentitis and associated with subsequent human psittacosis. Emerg Microbes Infect, 15; 6(2):e7.
  • Jones M, Octavia S, Lammers G, Heller J, Lan R (2017) Population and evolutionary dynamics of Shiga-toxin producing Escherichia coli O157 in a beef herd: A longitudinal study. Environ Microbiol [Epub ahead of print]
  • Shapiro AJ, Norris, J, Bosward KL, Heller J (2016) Q fever (Coxiella burnetii) knowledge and attitude of Australian cat breeders and their husbandry practices. Zoonoses and Public Health. [Epub ahead of print]
  • Lammers GAC, Jordan D, McConnel CS, Heller J (2016) Daily shedding dynamics of E.coli O157 in an Australian grass-fed beef herd. Epidemiology and Infection, 144(14): 2948-2955.
  •  Hicks A, Golland D, Heller J, Malik R, Combs M (2016) Epidemiological investigation of grass seed foreign body-related disease in dogs of the Riverina District of rural Australia. Aust Vet J, 94(3): 67-75.
  • Shapiro AJ, Norris JM, Heller J, Brown G, Malik R, Bosward KL (2016) Seroprevalence of Coxiella burnetii in Australian dogs. Zoonoses Public Health Sep 63(6): 458-66 doi:10.1111/zph.12250.
  • Sellens E, Norris J, Dhand NK, Heller J, Hayes L, Gidding HF, Willaby H, Wood N, Bosward K (2016) Q fever knowledge, attitudes and vaccination status of Australia's veterinary workforce in 2014. PLoS ONE 11(1): e0146829. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0146819
  • Brookes VJ, Jordan D, Davis S, Ward MP, Heller J (2015) Saltelli global sensitivity analysis and simulation modelling to identify intervention strategies to reduce the prevalence of Eschericia coli O157 contaminated beef carcases. PLoS ONE 10(12): e0146016 dio: 10.1371/journal.pone.0146016
  • Heller J (2015) Epidemiological and statistical considerations for interpreting and communicating oncology clinical trials. The Veterinary Journal, 205(2): 233–7.
  • Lammers GAC, McConnel CS, Jordan, D, Ayton, MS, Morris, S, Patterson, EI, Ward, MP, Heller J (2015) Synchronization of E.coli O157 shedding in a grass-fed beef herd – a longitudinal study. Epidemiology and Infection, 143(15): 3244-55.
  • Sparrow T, Heller J, Farrell M (2015) In vitro assessment of aiming bias in the frontal plane during orthopaedic drilling procedures. Veterinary Record, 176(16): 412.
  • Shapiro AJ, Bosward KL, Heller J, Norris JM (2015) Seroprevalence of Coxiella burnetii in domesticated and feral cats in eastern Australia. Vet Microbiol, 177(1-2): 154–161.
  • Willsallen H, Heller J, Kark L, Hilbert BJ (2015) In Vitro Mechanical Testing of Braided Polyurethane Elastic Fiber and Braided Polyester for Equine Laryngoplasty. Vet Surg, 44(2): 223–230.
  • Armstrong, SK, Woodgate RG, Gough S, Heller J, Sangster NC, Hughes KJ (2014) The efficacy of ivermectin, pyrantel and fenbendazole against Parascaris equorum infection in foals on farms in Australia. Vet Parasitol, 205: 575-580.
  • Farrell M, Heller J, Solano M, Fitzpatrick N, Sparrow T, Kowaleski M (2014) Does radiographic arthrosis correlate with cartilage pathology in Labrador retrievers affected by medial coronoid process disease? Vet Surg, 43: 155-165.
  • Rendle DI, Litchfield E, Heller J, Hughes KJ (2014) Investigation of rhythms of secretion and repeatability of plasma adrenocorticotrophic hormone concentrations in healthy horses and horses with pituitary pars intermedia dysfunction. Equine Vet Journal, 46(1): 113-7.
  • Rendle DI, Rutledge F, Hughes KJ, Heller J, Durham AE (2013) Effects of metformin hydrochloride on blood glucose and insulin responses to oral dextrose in horses. Equine Vet Journal, 45(6): 751–4.
  • Heller J, Hughes KJ (2013) Meticillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus in horses. In Practice, 35, 30-35. [invited review]
  • Michelsen J, Heller J, Wills F, Noble GK (2012) Effect of surgeon experience on postoperative plasma cortisol and C-reactive protein concentrations after ovariohysterectomy in the dog: a randomised trial. Aus Vet J, 90(12), 474-478.
  • Dunn AL, Buffa EA, Marchevsky AM, Heller J, Moores AP, Farrell M (2012) Inter- and intra-operator variability associated with extracapsular suture tensioning. An ex vivo study. Vet Comp Orthop Traumatol 25(6), 472- 77.
  • Farrell M, Mathieson A, Chung P, Heller J, Clarke SP, McDonald MK, Cardoni M (2011) In vitro performance testing of two arcuate oscillating saw blades designed for use during tibial plateau leveling osteotomy. Vet Surg, 40(6), 694–707.
  • Heller J, Innocent GT, Denwood M, Reid SWJ, Kelly LA, Mellor DJ (2011). Assessing the probability of acquisition of meticillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) in a dog using a nested stochastic simulation model and logistic regression sensitivity analysis. Preventive Veterinary Medicine, 99(2-4): 211-224.
  • Kiupel M, Webster J, Miller R,Bailey KL, Best S, DeLay J, Detrisac CJ, Gamble D, Ginn PE, Goldschmidt MH, Hendrick MJ, Howerth EW, Janovitz EB, Lenz SD, Lipscomb TP, Miller E, Misdorp W, Moroff S, Neyens I, O'Toole D, Ramos-Vara J, Scase T, Schulman Y, Smith K, Snyder P, Southorn E, Stedman NL, Steficek BA, Stromberg PC, Valli VE, Weisbrode SE, Yager J, Heller J, Miller R (2011). Proposal of a 2-tier histologic grading system for canine cutaneous mast cell tumors to more accurately predict biological behavior. Veterinary Pathology, 48(1): 147-155.
  • Webster J, Dennis M, Dervisis N, Heller J, Bacon NJ, Bergman PJ, Bienzle D, Cassali G, Castagnaro M, Cullen J, Esplin G, Fernandez LLP, Goldschmidt MH, Hahn KA, Henry CJ, Hellmén E, Kamstock D, Khanna C, Kirpensteijn J, Kitchell BE, Amorim RL, Lenz SD, Lipscomb TP, McEntee M, McGill LD, McManus PM, Moore AS, Moore PF, Moroff SD, Nakayama H, Northrup N, Sarli G, Scase T, Sorenmo K, Schulman Y, Smedley R,  Spangler WL, Teske E, Thamm DH, Valli VE, Vernau W, von Euler H, Withrow SJ, Weisbrode SE, Yager J, Kiupel M (2011) Recommended guidelines for the conduct and evaluation of prognostic studies in veterinary oncology.  Veterinary Pathology, 48(1): 7-18.
  • Sheahan DE, Bell R, Mellanby RJ, Gow AJ, Friend E, Heller J, Bence LM, Eckersall D (2010). Acute phase protein concentrations in dogs with nasal disease. The Vet Record, 167(23):895-899. DOI 10.1136/vr.c5928.
  • Heller J, Kelly LA, Reid SWJ, Mellor DJ (2010). Qualitative risk assessment of the acquisition of meticillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus in pet dogs. Risk Analysis, 30(3): 458-472. DOI 10.1111/j.1539-6924.2009.01342.x.
  • Reardon R, Bailey R, Walmsley J, Heller J, Lischer C (2010). An in vitro biomechanical comparison of a locking compression plate fixation and kerf-cut cylinder fixation for ventral arthrodesis of the fourth and fifth equine cervical vertebrae. Vet Surg, 39(8):980-90. DOI 10.1111/j.1532-950X.2010.00733.x.
  • Reardon R, Bailey R, Walmsley J, Heller J, Lischer C (2009). A pilot in vitro biomechanical comparison of locking compression plate fixation and kerf-cut cylinder fixation for ventral fusion of fourth and fifth equine cervical vertebrae. Veterinary Comparative Orthopaedics and Traumatology, 22(5): 371-9. DOI 10.3415/VCOT-08-10-0101.
  • Heller J, Armstrong SK, Girvan EK, Reid SWJ, Moodley A, Mellor DJ (2009). Prevalence and distribution of Meticillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) within the environment and staff of a university veterinary clinic. Journal of Small Animal Practice, Apr; 50(4): 168-73. DOI 10.1111/j.1748-5827.2008.00695.x.
  • Rendle DI, Heller J, Hughes KJ, Innocent GT, Durham AE (2009). Stability of common biochemistry analytes in equine blood stored at room temperature.  Equine Veterinary Journal, May 41(5): 428-432. DOI 10.2746/042516409X370928.
  • Zoia A, Slater LA, Heller J, Connolly DJ, Church DB (2009). A new approach to pleural effusion in cats: markers for distinguishing tansudates from exudates. Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery October; 11(10): 847-855.
  • Draffan D, Clements D, Heller J, Bennett D, Carmichael S (2009).  The role of Computed Tomography in the classification and management of pelvic fractures. Veterinary Comparative Orthopaedics and Traumatology, 22(3): 190-7.
  • Draffan D, Carrera I, Heller J, Carmichael S, Hammond G (2009). Radiographic analysis of trochlear notch sclerosis in the diagnosis of osteoarthritis secondary to medial coronoid disease.  Veterinary Comparative Orthopaedics and Traumatology, 22(1): 7-15.
  • Reardon RJM, Fraser BSL, Heller J, Lischer C, Parkin T, Bladon BM (2008). The use of race winnings, ratings and a performance index to assess the effect of thermocautery of the soft palate for treatment of horses with suspected intermittent dorsal displacement. A case-control study in 110 racing Thoroughbreds. Equine Veterinary Journal. 40(5): 508-513.
  • Heller J, Mellor DJ, Hodgson JL, Hodgson DR, Reid SWJ, Bosward KL (2007).  Elapid snake envenomation in dogs in New South Wales: a review.  Australian Veterinary Journal, 85(11): 469-479.
  • Heller J, Bosward KL, Hodgson DR, Pottie R (2006). Anuric renal failure in a dog after red-bellied black snake (Pseudechis porphyriacus) envenomation. Australian Veterinary Journal, 84(5): 158-62.
  • Goh CSS, Hodgson DR, Fearnside SM, Heller J, Malikides N (2005). Sodium monofluoroacetate (Compound 1080) poisoning in dogs. Australian Veterinary Journal, 83(8): 474-9.
  • Heller J, Bosward KL, Hodgson JL, Cole F, Hodgson DR, Reid SWJ, Mellor DJ (2005). Snake envenomation in dogs in New South Wales. Australian Veterinary Journal, 83(5): 286-92.
  • Heller J and Hunt GB (2002). Clinical Applications of the Omentum in Dogs and Cats.  Australian Veterinary Practitioner, 32(2): 66-73.

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Presentations (up to February 2017)

  • J. Heller. Multi-resistant Staphylococci in the Australian Veterinary Setting: Pigs. StaphPath Conference. Adelaide, February 2017.
  • J. Heller. Antimicrobial resistance. Newcastle One Health Forum. Newcastle, February 2017.
  • M. Archinal, M. Blazer, J. Heller, M. Latter, S. Page, A. Taylor. Antimicrobial stewardship in small animal practice – pilot trial, Canberra 2016. International Congress for Tropical Medicine and Malaria. Brisbane, September 2016.
  • J. Heller. Chlamydia psittaci – equine foetal membranes represent a novel source for human infection. International Congress for Tropical Medicine and Malaria. Brisbane, September 2016.
  • J. Heller. Chlamydia in horses – a flash in the pan or emerging public health risk? Emergency Animal Disease, Zoonotic and Notifiable Disease Seminar for veterinarians. Albury, June 2016.
  • J. Heller. Q fever in Australia – what we know and what we need to know. Emergency Animal Disease, Zoonotic and Notifiable Disease Seminar for veterinarians. Albury, June 2016.
  • J. Heller. MRSA in humans and animals. Australian Veterinary Association Annual Conference. Adelaide, May 2016.
  • J. Heller. Zoonoses. DPI/LLS Regional Animal Health Meeting. Yanco, April 2016.
  • J. Heller. MRSA in Australia in people and animals – is the problem solved or just beginning? Emergency Animal Diseases conference. Australian Animal Health Laboratories, Geelong, Australia, October 2015.
  • J. Heller. Q fever update. Emergency Animal Diseases conference. Australian Animal Health Laboratories, Geelong, Australia, October 2015.
  • J.Heller. E.coli O157 dynamics in an extensive beef system. MLA symposium, Wagga Wagga, March 2015.
  • J. Heller. An outbreak of psittacosis associated with an unusual source – a cautionary tale. Australian College of Veterinary Scientists, Science week conference, Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia, July 2015.
  • J. Heller. Zoonoses and One Health. Australian Veterinary Association Regional Conference, Goulburn, September 2014.
  • J Heller. Why your favourite drug stopped working – antimicrobial resistance. Australian Veterinary Association Regional Conference, Goulburn, September 2014.
  • K Bosward, J Heller. Q fever: how does it affect you? Australian Veterinary Association Regional Conference, Goulburn, September 2014.
  • J Heller. Integrating epidemiology teaching and Evidence Based Medicine across a Veterinary Science degree: are we reaching the unteachable? Australian College of Veterinary Scientists, Science week conference, Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia, July 2014.
  • J. Heller, G. Lammers, C. McConnel. E.coli O157:H7 shedding in beef cattle.Graham Centre Beef forum, Wagga Wagga, August 2013.
  • J Heller. Identifying risk factors for exposure to Coxiella burnetii (Q fever).Australian College of Veterinary Scientists, Science week conference, Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia, July 2013.
  • J. Heller. Evidence based medicine in undergraduate teaching. Australian Veterinary Association Annual Conference, Adelaide, Australia, May 2011.
  • J. Heller, S.W.J. Reid, D.J. Mellor.Ask the expert: Difficulty in expert estimation of transmission of meticillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) between the environment, pets and humans. The 1st International One Health Congress, Melbourne, Australia, February 2011.
  • J. Heller, S. Gorman, E. Ward, S.W.J. Reid, D.J. Mellor.Does food represent an independent source of meticillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) for pet dogs? The 1st International One Health Congress, Melbourne, Australia, February 2011. (Poster).
  • J. Heller, S. Bierbaum, B. Hyden, E. Ward, S.W.J. Reid, D.J. Mellor.Defining interactions between humans and pet dogs. The 1st International One Health Congress, Melbourne, Australia, February 2011. (Poster).
  • J. Heller, S.W.J. Reid, L.A. Kelly, G.I. Innocent, D.J. Mellor.  MRSA in pet dogs: does risk assessment tell us the full story? Society for Risk Analysis (ANZ) Annual conference, Sydney, Australia, September 2010
  • J. Heller, S.W.J. Reid, L.A. Kelly, G.I. Innocent, D.J. Mellor.MRSA in pet dogs: is risk assessment the answer?  Australian College of Veterinary Scientists, Science week conference, Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia, July 2010
  • J. Heller. Zoonoses: The medical cost of the human-animal relationship.  Invited talk, Public Health Update Series, University of NSW Rural Clinical School, Faculty of Medicine, June 2010.
  • J. Heller, G. Innocent G, L.A. Kelly, S.W.J. Reid and D.J. Mellor.  Comparison of sensitivity analysis techniques for a simulation-based risk assessment model.  12th International Symposium for Veterinary Epidemiology and Economics, Durban, South Africa, August 2009.
  • J. Heller, S.W.J. Reid and D.J. Mellor.  An expert opinion exercise to define input variables for a quantitative risk assessment of acquisition of meticillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus in dogs.  12th International Symposium for Veterinary Epidemiology and Economics, Durban, South Africa, August 2009 (Poster).
  • J Heller, EM Fevre, DJ Mellor and RF Heller.  A call for a veterinary public health component to the Peoples Open Access Education Initiative: Peoples-Uni.  12th International Symposium for Veterinary Epidemiology and Economics, Durban, South Africa, August 2009 (Poster).
  • J Heller, GT Innocent, LA Kelly, SWJ Reid and DJ Mellor. Quantitative assessment for the acquisition of meticillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) in dogs.  Proceedings of the Society for Veterinary Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine, London, April 2009.
  • J Heller, EM Fevre, DJ Mellor and RF Heller.  A call for a veterinary public health component to the Peoples Open Access Education Initiative: Peoples-Uni.  Society for Veterinary Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine, London, April 2009 (Poster).
  • J Heller. Invited presentation at the University of Liverpool "A risk assessment approach to meticillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) in pet dogs", February 2009.
  • J Heller, LA Kelly, SWJ Reid and DJ Mellor. Scoping the problem: A scoping study of Meticillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) colonisation in dogs.– Association of Veterinary Teachers and Research Workers annual meeting, Scarborough, March 2008.
  • J Heller, LA Kelly, SWJ Reid and DJ Mellor. Limitations of a qualitative risk assessment framework for MRSA colonisation in dogs. – Society of Veterinary Epidemiology and Population Medicine Annual conference, Liverpool, March 2008. (Poster)
  • J Heller, SK Armstrong, D Morrison, SWJ Reid, A Moodley, DJ Mellor. 'Prevalence and distribution of MRSA within the environment and staff of a university small animal veterinary clinic.'  The control and prevention of zoonosis – from science to policy, Glasgow, UK, November 2007.
  • J Heller. It's me and/or the dog! - MRSA in pets and people - VTRI science into policy workshop, Edinburgh, October 2007
  • J Heller, B Hyden, S Bierbaum, SWJ Reid, DJ Mellor. 'It's me or the dog – A questionnaire study of canine-human interactions in Scotland.'  European College of Veterinary Public Health Annual Conference, Helsinki, December 2007. (Poster)
  • J Heller, LA Kelly, DJ Mellor, SWJ Reid. 'A risk assessment approach to the problem of Meticillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) colonisation in dogs.'  Finalist, Vetoquinol award, University of Glasgow, June 2007.
  • J Heller, KL Bosward, JL Hodgson, SWJ Reid, DR Hodgson, DJ Mellor. 'Canine snake envenomation in New South Wales – development of adjunctive diagnostic tests.' International Symposium on Veterinary Epidemiology and Economics (ISVEE) XI, Cairns, Australia, August 2006.
  • J Heller, KL Bosward, JL Hodgson, FL Cole, SWJ Reid, DR Hodgson, DJ Mellor. 'An epidemiological study of snake envenomation in dogs in New South Wales, Australia.' International Symposium on Veterinary Epidemiology and Economics (ISVEE) XI, Cairns, Australia, August 2006. (Poster)
  • J Heller, KL Bosward, SWJ Reid, DR Hodgson, JL Hodgson, DJ Mellor. Diagnostic testing and its application to clinical scenarios.' Association of Veterinary Teachers and Research Workers annual meeting, Scarborough, UK, March 2006.
  • J Heller, KL Bosward, JL Hodgson. 'An epidemiological study of snake envenomation in dogs in New South Wales'.  Australian College of Veterinary Scientists College Week Conference, Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia, June 2004. 
  • J Heller. 'Canine snake envenomation in New South Wales – development of adjunctive diagnostic testing procedures' Faculty of Veterinary Science Fourth Annual Postgraduate Research Conference, University of Sydney, Sydney Australia, 2004. – Awarded prize
  • J Heller. 'Canine snake envenomation in New South Wales' – Seminar for Macarthur region private practitioners. Camden, Australia, 2004.

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