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The first time I met David Watkins was a long time ago. I was sitting next to him on a bus going to the International Association of Cross-Cultural Psychology conference dinner. The place was Newcastle, and the year was 1988, an auspicious year as I turned 40 and had just submitted my doctorate for examination, the topic of my doctorate being The Psychological Determinants of Motivation of Non-Traditional Aboriginal Students . My “very erudite” paper presentation at the conference was entitled A cross-cultural analysis of student motivation in school settings: An Australian perspective. What a fortuitous event that I was seated on a bus next to David who was also developing a strong interest in cross-cultural research on learning and motivation. What I had not anticipated during the bus trip to a wonderful Hunter Valley winery and the later conversation we had during dinner and throughout the conference was what an argumentative couple we were. It seemed that when I said “white,” he would say “black,” and when he said “fast,” I would say “slow.” I think these dynamics characterized our long friendship and professional relationship through to today.


Institute for Positive Psychology and Education

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Book Chapter

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