Preparing for his first keynote address to Charles Sturt University teaching graduates, newly appointed Head of CSU's School of Teacher Education, Professor Paul Burnett, turned to those closest to him for inspiration and advice.
"I asked my seven year-old daughter and eight year-old son what I should say. My daughter said that I should tell them that they have all done a good job and should be congratulated. My son suggested that I should tell them that as teachers they should be nice to kids all the time and not just when parents are around."
While he might seek advice for his first keynote address at a graduation ceremony, Professor Burnett isn't short of personal experience when it comes to teaching.
Appointed as Head of the School of Teacher Education at Bathurst in January this year, Professor Burnett came from a nine-year stint at Queensland University of Technology where he was a lecturer in research methods, counselling and Director of the Centre for Cognitive Processes in Learning.
From a teaching career that began in a Brisbane primary school in 1977, Professor Burnett moved into school counselling working in Queensland and the United States before obtaining a Doctor of Philosophy award from Ohio University, USA, in 1988.
As a teacher and psychologist, his main area of research has focussed on the impact of self-esteem, self-talk and self-concept in children's development. His work has involved investigating ways in which "significant others" - such as parents and teachers - can enhance children's perceptions of themselves and help them to feel more confident.