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Barista Academy

Arriving at CMCR’s hip, retro academy in Chin Swee, we are immediately asked if we’d like a coffee. Yes, please. Flat whites and lattes in hand, we settle in to find out more about how a coffee makes its way from bean to cup. Our guide is award-winning barista and Head Trainer, Keith Yee. Keith started his career in coffee eight years ago, when his brother opened a café in his home city, Kuala Lumpur. He quickly moved up the ranks, and now finds himself teaching coffee lovers and wannabe baristas the tricks of the trade.

Class in session
Classes are run on weekdays, with a morning session starting at 9am, and an afternoon session starting at 2pm. We take a 2pm Fundamental Barista Skills class and over the next three hours, Keith schools us in everything we need to know about coffee. This class is the starting point for most people and is open to all skill levels. The one thing we all have in common is our love of coffee. First up, Keith gives us a comprehensive overview of how coffee is grown, processed and traded around the world; then we move onto espresso preparation techniques, including dosing, distributing and tamping. The final part of the class is hands on, as Keith lets us take over the very fancy coffee machines, to make our own café style creations.

Most of us arrive not knowing the different between arabica and robusta blends, or how to work anything more complicated than a Nespresso machine, but we walk out having measured and extracted the perfect espresso. There’s also time to try our hand at milk steaming and pouring, and even how to fashion a little heart in the foam. After the class we get a certificate and a bag of beans to take home. While we’re not quite ready to take on a shift at Common Man, we are quietly impressed with our efforts.

How do I sign up?
The fundamentals class costs $190 and takes around 3-4 hours. It’s perfect for new baristas, corporate team events, or home enthusiasts. The academy also offers classes in Latte Art Techniques, Fundamentals of Manual Brewing, Sensory Skills and Coffee Knowledge.


ANZA & Red Cross Singapore – Australian Bushfire Relief

Please visit the ANZA & Red Cross Singapore Australian Bushfire Relief page to help Australia rebuild and recover. This page was set up by the Australian and New Zealand Association in Singapore, in response to the catastrophic bushfires currently affecting communities across Australia. Donations will go towards the Red Cross Australian Bushfire Emergency Response, providing immediate relief and longer-term recovery support to those affected by the fires. Every bit counts!

ANZA and the Australian International School (AIS) will also team up for a fundraising drive at the Great Australia Day BBQ on 9 February, 2-6pm – join us at AIS to drop some money in our fundraising buckets, gather with our community, and support our mates doing it tough back home. For more information about the GADBBQ head here

Calling the Shots

Director and Cinematographer Claire Clements

Director and Cinematographer Claire Clements’ latest film, Wild City Singapore is narrated by Sir David Attenborough and the beautifully-shot series picked up the regional award for Best Documentary and Best Cinematography at the Asian Academy Creative Awards. Claire talks to ANZA about how she found a career behind the lens.

Where are you from?
I’m a bit of a global citizen. My parents are Irish and British, I was born in Australia but grew up in Asia and I eventually made a home for myself in New Zealand. I guess I’m Australian, Irish, UK, Kiwi …well that’s what my passports tell me!

Where is home right now?
Right now, I have bases in Singapore, New Zealand and the UK. I’ve been making films here for around six years all about Singapore’s wildlife – yes, we have a surprising amount! I’ve mainly been involved in making the Wild City Singapore series with Beach House Pictures – we’ve made five films on Singapore’s wildlife for Channel News Asia. We’ve also made a film for National Geographic about our amazing urban otters. Aside from the wildlife here, I absolutely love Singapore – it’s such a vibrant, fascinating city.

How did you get into wildlife camera/producing work?
I’ve always loved animals and wildlife, so initially I studied zoology and ecotourism. Then I struggled to get work as a young graduate, so I travelled the world for a few years watching wildlife for fun – mainly in Asia. I ended up in China working for AusAid with wild giant pandas and a crew came to film them. I’d never realised this could be a job! I then moved to New Zealand to study a Masters in Natural History Film Making and was fortunate to get a job with a local NZ company. I started as an intern and I’m now a Director and Camera Operator. It’s a very competitive industry so I’m lucky to have made this my career. Although the hustling never stops! As soon as I finish a film I need to try and find the next one to make.

How does your background in zoology help you capture great footage?
Understanding an animal’s behaviour and biology means you can more accurately predict what they might do next and that’s how you get the shots. When filming an animal I literally start to live like them. I wake up, rest, and eat when they do!

Claire with Sir David Attenborough

How did you come to work with David Attenborough?
Basically, we just asked him! Well, the production company I work for, Beach House Pictures, did. He agreed but he doesn’t fully confirm until he’s seen the final film and script. I’ve been incredibly privileged to have written two scripts for him and directed him to read them. The last time was late 2018 when he was 93. That was a very special time as it was like catching up with a friend.

How do you work with NParks and other environmental groups?
NParks is extremely supportive of the wildlife films I’m involved with. They facilitate access to locations and issue permits. They also help us to meet scientists. Other organisations, such as Animal Concerns Research and Education Society (ACRES), have been brilliant to work with.

What’s your favourite animal to shoot?
Without a doubt the otters in Singapore. A close second is the Raffles banded langur – a very rare monkey here. Both incredible large mammals that we are so lucky to have. Elsewhere I would have to say any New Zealand bird. I’ve filmed shearwaters on snowy mountain peaks, huge fat Kereru (wood pigeons) feeding on berries they get ‘drunk’ on in my little backyard forest and delicate little fantails skimming around the bushes. I love birds, even though they can be hard to sell as people think they can be boring. They are not!

How does storytelling come into your work?
Storytelling is the key to a successful film. You can have beautiful footage but if you don’t have a good story, no one will engage. I have a vivid imagination and I’m bit of a dreamer so I try to channel this into my stories and scripts to make them engaging and hopefully a little bit magical.

What wild locations have you shot in?
I’ve filmed in remote mountains in New Zealand and China, grassy savannahs full of elephants in Sri Lanka, jungles in Borneo, deserts in Arizona, and just about every wild habitat in Singapore.

What locations in Singapore are the best for wildlife spotting?
If you go for a bike ride around Marina Bay between 7am – 9am you have an excellent chance of seeing otters – this is their peak feeding time. Gardens by the Bay also has lots of amazing birds and insect life. And then there’s the National Parks; McRitchie for monkeys, Sungei Buloh for the mangrove life – crabs, mudskippers, and huge water monitor lizards. Go early in the morning or late afternoon and be nice and quiet.

What’s the most satisfying element of your work?
Definitely the people I’ve met and worked with. In Singapore, I’ve been so lucky to have met lots of people in the wildlife community, and the films simply wouldn’t be possible without them.

What’s happening in 2020?
Hopefully another wildlife film in Singapore! I’m not sure yet – the life of a documentary film maker is full of uncertainty as we wait for projects to get funded. But I love this work and lifestyle and wouldn’t have it any other way.


Back to School Tips

Aaron Ritchie, Australian International School (AIS) Year 5 teacher shares his tips for returning to the classroom. “To make the most of the upcoming year, it’s important that students look after themselves with healthy routines, relevant goals for themselves, and community involvement.”

Set a good routine
A good routine, supported by time-management and organisation, is fundamental to building a successful year. A visual planner works wonders. For younger children, model the skills needed for organising and managing their commitment by using a wall timetable chart. Place this somewhere central in the home so it becomes a habit to look at and use. As the children move up, encourage and empower them to plan their homework load around their other commitments. Planning ahead can prevent last minute panic.

Take time to play & be active
After a hard day of work, young children need time to play, sometimes even with their parents. Taking the time to bond with your child through play builds trusting, open and honest relationships. For older children, consider exercising together. Being active each day helps unwind a busy mind, energising the brain and body for the next day.
Make bedtime routines regular and reliable. Primary school aged children should be averaging 10-11 hours of sleep each night, with teenagers requiring about 8-10 hours. A well-rested brain, supported by healthy food, will be able to concentrate, think and create throughout the school day.

The start of a school year is a fantastic time to forge new friendships

Set personal goals
Take some time to set SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-bound), personalised goals at the start of the year. Involve your child in the goal setting process. It’s a life skill they will benefit from well beyond their final exams. Frame goals against the child’s own development. Ask them what they think their strengths and challenges are; they might surprise you. Show them how you set goals in your own life.
When you meet the teacher at a parent interview, consider sharing the goals the child has helped make. Wonderful things happen when schools and homes start working together.

Find your tribe
The start of a school year is a fantastic time to forge new friendships, while maintaining friends from previous years. Encourage your child to make new friends and invite them over for a playdate outside of school hours. Another place to find friends is through sport and cultural pursuits. Encourage your child to try new sports, join the choir, or sign up for Science Club. Not only will they learn new skills, but they’ll also be exposed to potential new friends.


For more tips and advice from education experts, read more in our Jan-Feb magazine

Australian Capital Gains Tax Changes Explained

Q. I’ve been living and working in Singapore with my family for the last three years and have rented out my family home in Australia. What do the changes in the Capital Gains Tax Principal Place of Residence Exemption mean to me?

Tristan Perry – Head of Tax Australia at Select Investors

Tristan says:
“Every Australian homeowner is entitled to a principal place of residence exemption for capital gains tax on their main home, during the time that they lived there. This is together with a concession which allows them to maintain this exemption indefinitely, if the property is not rented out, or alternatively they can rent it out for up to six years with the same concession. This concession is also available on a prorate basis for those that rent their property for more than six years.
This is readily used and relied on by Australian expats, so that they can return home without having to deal with a large tax liability. Expats whose circumstances change whilst they are living offshore (which is many!), may choose to sell their property to downsize or invest funds elsewhere, and rely on these funds being capital gains tax free to help with their broader financial planning.
So, what’s the change? As part of the 2017/2018 Australian Budget, the Coalition introduced a bill which proposed to remove the principal place of residence exemption for foreign tax residents (i.e. most expats and foreign investors). This bill was met with opposition and ended up expiring in June 2019. On 23 October 2019, the Government then re-introduced a new bill, which is largely unchanged, with a couple of exceptions to help those who have suffered a loss in their family (spouse or child under the age of 18) or are going through a matrimonial settlement, providing that they have lived offshore for less than six years.
Fundamentally, for those who held a property on budget night of 2017 (9/5/2017), the main residence exemption for capital gains tax can only be claimed up to 30 June 2020, if you dispose of your property while you are living offshore.
Most importantly, for those who don’t intend to sell their property while living overseas, the six years of capital gains tax free growth, and principal place of residence exemption for the time they lived in the property, is still available – providing that you eventually sell your property when you return to Australia and take up Australian tax residency again. You don’t have to move back into the property, however you do need to be a resident at the time of the contract signing for the sale.
Sadly, the tax consequence for those not in the know are far worse. If an expat sells their former principal place of residence home post 30 June 2020, while they are living offshore (i.e. they are a foreign tax resident), they will lose the whole concession, including the time they lived in the property, regardless of how long they may have lived in the property prior to moving offshore.
Property tax planning can make a real difference to your financial position, so it’s vital to stay close to your local tax professional and seek the right advice before transacting on a property.”

**The levels and bases of taxation, and relief from taxation, can change at any time. The value of any tax relief depends on individuals’ circumstances.

Co-Working in Singapore

The Working Capitol in Chinatown

What is workbuddy?
Workbuddy offers access to over 30 co-working spaces in Singapore. We found that what most professionals really value nowadays is flexibility. Having the choice to work close to home one day, or to be near their clients, children’s school or even their gym, makes a big difference. It helps with work-life balance and productivity (less time commuting), and gives them autonomy and flexibility to design their day around what’s important to them.

How did the idea for workbuddy come about?
Co-working spaces in Singapore have tripled since 2015, partly due to rising office rents and partly to meet the need for flexible working. However, we discovered that despite the co-working space options, many people were still sticking to their local café or working from home, because co-working space memberships still required them to commute or commit to year-long contracts. People don’t want to pay for unused space. That’s when we thought of a monthly membership that offers an all-access pass to a variety of locations – and workbuddy was born.

How does it work?
You download the workbuddy app and choose a monthly membership – 5 visits a month for $129, or unlimited visits for $299. Then, choose from more than 30 co-working spaces around town, book a hot desk, check in and get to work!

Who is the app for?
It’s for freelancers who need great workspaces but don’t like fixed contracts; entrepreneurs and start-ups who need somewhere flexible and affordable for their team; sales teams and even large companies.

What’s the benefit for freelancers?
Freelancers love workbuddy because they can say goodbye – once and for all – to noisy cafés with shaky Wi-Fi, distracting home offices with attention-seeking cats, and long commutes to client meetings. Time is money! But one of the benefits they love most is having a community to connect with. Their workbuddy pass gives them access to co-working networks all over town, so they can meet fellow freelancers and new clients easily.

What office spaces are available?
We’ve partnered with awesome co-working spaces all around Singapore. Centre yourself in the CBD at Servcorp’s lush Marina Bay location or The Executive Centre’s swanky space in Frasers Tower. Enjoy the peaceful, minimalist designs at SPACES in the Paya Lebar Quarter and the charming shophouse neighbourhood around The Working Capitol in Chinatown.

Are shared workspaces the future?
The way we work is changing. There are more part-time employees, freelancers and remote workers than ever before. Fixed office spaces are no longer appropriate for companies with fluctuating headcounts who need to keep costs down and stay agile. It’s all about innovation and collaboration – which co-working spaces are great for.


Wellness Weekend in Phuket

Asia’s only FINA accredited aquatic centre

Before checking into Thanyapura Health and Wellness Resort, I was worried I might feel a tad inadequate. The resort is visited by elite sports teams from around the globe, and known for world class facilities. Sure enough, on arrival there are finely tuned, muscular athletes around every corner – stretching, swimming, cycling, playing a spot of ping pong, and dreaming of their medal haul at the Tokyo Olympics this year.
But after taking a look around, I’m surprised at how welcoming and nurturing the resort is for us mere mortals – there are tons of low-key options for kickstarting a fitness routine, consulting the experts about nutrition, wellness and fitness, having a spa treatment, or simply taking time out by the gleaming pool.
Thanyapura is a 15 minute drive from the airport, sprawling over 25 hectares of lush tropical gardens, with manicured playing fields, a fleet of tennis courts, three swimming pools (the side-by-side 25m and 50m training pools form Asia’s only FINA accredited aquatic centre) a tranquil wellness centre and spa, gyms, on site physio, chiro, osteo, and functional medicine. That’s just for starters.

Wellness Menu
On arrival, I’m treated to a vegan spread that makes me re-think my meat-eating ways. The food here is absolutely delicious – Jamie Raferty, Head of Cuisine, delivers menus that are fresh, bursting with flavour and nutrients, and creatively presented. Alongside the breezy Booster juice bar and café, and the retro sports lounge, there are two main restaurants on site – Divine and DiLite. Divine is a full range à la carte eatery which serves a mix of Western and Thai dishes, whereas DiLite offers a colourful Vegan buffet.
During our stay we eat almost exclusively vegetarian and vegan meals, tucking into mango sticky rice, fragrant vegetable curries, pad Thai, fresh, tangy and spicy salads, tropical fruits, and even a vegan cheesecake with a scoop of lemongrass sorbet. Portion sizes are generous and nobody goes hungry! If you want a glass of wine, or a carb loaded pizza, those are all available – this isn’t a monastery.

Group Classes
One of the main drawcards to Thanyapura is its wide variety of rotating group classes. They offer 80 classes a week, which includes long runs, bike rides, aerial yoga, Pilates, abs and core, open water and pool swims, social tennis, spin, and athletics (there’s a full running track, naturally).
I start the day with a group meditation session in shaded green gardens. Pierre Gagnon, Mind Trainer, has a soothing French accent and deep understanding of mediation and mindfulness. He gently guides us through a short meditation, designed to make us consider the role the mind plays in our actions and perceptions of the world around us.
After a few laps in the enormous Olympic sized pool, I head to a session of Muay Thai boxing, held in a purpose-built gym, ring included. Trainer Ping Ping Xu offers a bone crunching handshake, promptly straps my hands and demands I start running around the small outdoor gym. It’s the middle of the day, and sweat soon starts dripping, as the class learns the basics of throwing jabs, hooks, uppercuts and kicks. There are no bouts today, thank goodness, but Ping invites me to come back the next day for a much harder session. I’ve enjoyed the class, and it really worked out my shoulders and arms, but I’ll be stepping out of the ring and retiring.

Palm Seaside, Bangtao

Chill Out Time
After a rest and a shower, it’s time to slow the pace of the day, with a hatha yoga session in a gorgeous studio, overlooking nearby mountains and national forest. Joining the class is an elite British triathlete, dripping from a pool session, and looking to stretch out her tight calves.
While there isn’t much in walking distance from Thanyapura, there is a regular shuttle that goes to nearby Bangtao and Naithon Beaches, and the Night Market. Our group makes a booking at Palm Seaside, a hip Miami-style restaurant and bar, set on the water’s edge at Bangtao, overlooking fishing boats and a calm bay. We order a round of drinks, settle into couches and watch the sun sink, clinking to our survival of Ping’s Muay Thai class.

Health Check
Alongside incredible sports facilities, Thanyapura boasts a cutting-edge health centre, offering general health check-ups as well as body composition analysis, detox treatments, intravenous infusions, Botox and CoolSculpting.

Massage & Spa
The only way to end a trip to Thanyapura is to book a Signature Massage at the spa. Unknot all your sore, tired muscles with a soothing, but strong massage that combines sports and classic Swedish techniques. It’s a little ouchy, but in a good way – designed to reduce muscle tension, relieve aches and pains, and improve flexibility.
For anyone looking to take time out, or refocus their fitness and health goals, Thanyapura has everything you need, and then some. My New Year’s resolution is to get back there as soon as I can.


Unique Singapore Activities

Segway tours
See the famous city sights from a totally new perspective, balancing on a Segway. O-Ride SG offers two- or three-hour itineraries or get a group together for a customised experience. The tour starts off with a bit of Segway practice at the National Stadium in Kallang. Once you’re confident, head off to see the sights with your knowledgeable local guide. You’ll glide past famous landmarks like Marina Barrage, the ArtScience Museum, Marina Bay Sands and the Double Helix Bridge. The two-hour highlights itinerary starts from $80, book at oridesg.com

Tiger Brewery tour
In its 80-year history, this local beer has now grown to achieve international acclaim. The Tiger Brewery Tour will show you each step of the brewing process, from milling the malt to packaging. Then you’ll be taught how to tap the perfect pint of draught beer. Finish off at the Tiger Tavern for a beer appreciation session. Don’t forget to drop by the gift-shop for exclusive and unique Tiger merchandise.
The hour-long tour runs every Tuesday to Sunday in the afternoons (various timings). Book online at tigerbrewerytour.com.sg for discount prices, prices start from $18 for adults. Children are also welcome.

Haw Par Villa’s night tour
Haw Par Villa – a park founded by eccentric millionaire and creator of Tiger Balm, Aw Boon Haw – just got a little creepier with its ‘Journey to Hell’. This night-time tour shows off the famous 10 Courts of Hell, whose depictions of judgment in the afterlife take on a new level of horror in the dark; visit the King of Ghosts; experience a sneak preview of the park’s upcoming Hell’s Museum and see the Aw family memorials. Best to leave the kids at home for this one! Every Friday night from 6.30pm. Adults $20, Concession $15, book at journeys.com.sg/tosw/the-ticket-shop

History tours
Travel back to Singapore’s World War II days with a tour of Fort Canning’s underground war bunker, or a bus tour of important war locations.
Battlebox tour: Built in 1936, the Battlebox was a WWII British underground command centre inside Fort Canning Hill. It was part of the headquarters of Malaya Command, the army which defended Malaya and Singapore in WWII. It was inside the Battlebox that the British made the decision to surrender Singapore to the invading Japanese on 15 February 1942. Recreations of events, along with war artefacts and knowledgeable, entertaining guides, make this a fascinating tour. battlebox.com.sg
War Trail by Changi Museum: This bus tour commemorates the brave men and women who fought during World War II in Malaya and Singapore, and their subsequent internment. In Changi, visit the site of many POW camps during the Japanese Occupation. At the Straits of Johor, learn about the Singapore defence strategy then discover part of old Singapore at the quaint Changi Village to learn about its role in the war. The tour also visits Kranji War Cemetery. changimuseum.sg/visiting-the-museum/tours

Bollywood Veggies farm in Kranji

Urban farm tours
Take a guided tour through the peaceful Bollywood Veggies farm in Kranji. In this urbanised city, Bollywood is a great spot for both kids and adults to learn about various plants and their uses, and find out more about sustainable farming. The guided tour takes 30 mins and the Bollywood team recommends combining it with a potting class. For a more in-depth experience, gather a group and book a farm adventure. Choose from a harvest treasure hunt, nature art activities, rice paddy planting and terrarium making, traditional medicine seminars, and cooking classes. Try the fabulous restaurant, Poison Ivy.
Guided tours and potting classes $15 each, book at bollywoodveggies.com/events-activities/farm-tours-activities

National Parks Coast to Coast Trail

National Parks Coast to Coast Trail
National Parks launched this 36km cross-Singapore trail in April 2019. From Jurong Lake Gardens, follow parks, nature areas and park connectors all the way to Coney Island Park in Singapore’s north east. Struggling to get your kiddos outside? entice them by downloading the trail’s mobile app. This interactive guide has fun educational insights and virtual treasure-hunting activities.
Divide the trail into smaller sections for an easier walk, or tackle the whole thing in one day. Highlights include the Jurong Lake Gardens with its forest playground and water play; Bukit Batok Nature Park; Botanic Gardens; the playgrounds and waterways of Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park, the Sengkang Floating Wetland, Punggol Waterway Park and the Casuarina Boardwalk at Coney Island.

Great Australia Day BBQ – proudly presented by HSBC

Great Australia Day BBQ, proudly presented by HSBC
Hosted by Australian International School and ANZA

For the eighth fun-filled year, ANZA and the Australian International School (AIS) have teamed up to host the Great Australia Day BBQ. Join us at the AIS campus on Sunday 9 February, 2pm – 6pm to celebrate Down Under’s big day, as we warm up the grill, chill the eski and invite all our mates round for a party.

Expect a huge range of delicious eats including the all-time BBQ favourites from The Farmers Market, meat pies, tacos and lots more – including vegetarian and gluten free options. There will also be lots of sweet treats, great coffee, and a variety of cold bevvies to keep things cool.

Rain or shine there will be loads of fun things going on to keep the whole family entertained throughout the day. Browse markets, try pop-up arts and craft workshops, and rock out to live Aussie rock band The Kicks. Let the kids loose on the face painting station, dunk tanks, bouncy castles, slip ‘n’ slides and backyard sports.

We’ll be going green on the day with food waste recycling bins and rental options for reusable cups, plates and cutlery – or you can bring your own.

For the Shopaholics we have a Pop-Up stall area showcasing, organic and health products, beauty, clothing, homeware, garden and great kids stuff so don’t forget to bring your re-usable shopping bags.

Pack towels and swimmers for waterplay and don’t forget to stay hydrated – bring those refillable water bottles. See you there!

Watch the ANZA Facebook page and weekly EDM for the full list of vendors and more information.

Register here


Australian Fires: How to Help


Victoria’s Country Fire Authority (CFA) https://www.cfa.vic.gov.au/about/supporting-cfa#donate-cfa

NSW Rural Fire Service (RFS) https://www.rfs.nsw.gov.au/volun…/support-your-local-brigade

The Country Fire Service in South Australia is taking direct donations. https://cfsfoundation.org.au/donate

Donate to the Rural Fire Brigades Association to support firefighters in Queensland. https://www.rfbaq.org/donate-to-rfbaq

Salvation Army:

The Salvos are after cash donations to feed firefighters and evacuees, and aid in relief and recovery. https://www.salvationarmy.org.au/

Red Cross:

The Red Cross is raising money through its Disaster Relief and Recovery Fund. https://www.redcross.org.au/…/disaster-relief-and-recovery-…

Comedian and actor Celeste Barber has launched a fundraiser for the Trustee for NSW Rural Fire Service and Brigades donations fund. https://www.facebook.com/donate/1010958179269977/

How to help wildlife:

Donate to wildlife rescue organisation WIRES, to help rescue and care for thousands of sick, injured and orphaned native animals. https://www.wires.org.au/…/emergency-donations-to-help-wild…

The World Wildlife Fund Australia is directing its efforts towards koala conservation. https://www.wwf.org.au/get-involved/bushfire-emergency

Kangaroo Island:

Kangaroo Island have set up a GoFundMe page to help its wildlife after a third of the Island was burned in the Ravine fire. https://www.gofundme.com/f/help-save-kangaroo-islands-koalas-and-wildlife


We will be raising funds for the Australia Bush Fire relief effort at the Great Australia Day BBQ on 9 February and need volunteers. Contact us for more information.