The prospect of returning to his alma mater to be a guest speaker was a "nerve-wracking, but exciting" one for Paul Harris.
The University of Wollongong is recognising its first cohort of graduates for 2019, with thousands of students donning their caps and gowns for the autumn graduation ceremonies this week.
After graduating from UOW in 1999 with a Bachelor of Physical Education, Mr Harris headed to London.
In 2001, Mr Harris and fellow UOW graduate Todd Richardson set up VIBE, a teaching recruitment agency that aims to find Australian teachers to work in schools throughout the UK.
The organisation places more than 800 teachers a day into approximately 400 schools around London.
Still based near London, Mr Harris, 43, returned to UOW on Tuesday to be guest speaker at the School of Education graduation ceremony.
"Hopefully I can inspire people to take risks in their lives, and to help people," he said of his address.
"I think when you step outside your comfort zone, that's when you learn most about yourself and you become a better person."
Regarding changes at UOW since his tenure there, Mr Harris said he was impressed by their facilities and the environment they'd created.
Undergraduate and postgraduate students from three faculties - Law, Humanities and the Arts; Social Sciences; and Science, Medicine and Health - are celebrating their academic and research achievements this week.
There is due to be seven ceremonies held across three days (Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday), encompassing students from a range of fields, including creative arts, law, psychology, medicine, science, and education.
The University's higher degree research will be in the spotlight too, with close to 50 students receiving their doctorates.
The autumn ceremonies, held at UOW's University Hall, will be the first of four graduation events held throughout the year.
Dennis Shanahan, political editor at The Australian, was recognised at Tuesday morning's ceremony with an Honorary Doctor of Letters.
The University's post-graduate research will be highlighted this week too.
Among the student cohort, Dr Kishan Kariipponan will celebrate the end of his PhD, which focused on the role of social media and mobile phones on a remote Aboriginal community in the Northern Territory.
Now a lecturer in UOW's School of Health and Society, he will graduate during Friday morning's ceremony.