Allan Sparkes, CV VA

One of only 5 Australians to be awarded Australia's highest decoration for bravery, The Cross of Valour.

'For acts of the most conspicuous courage in circumstances of extreme peril'

Allan is one of only five Australians in the past 39 years to be awarded Australia's highest bravery decoration, the Cross of Valour. In December 2012, Allan, along with 9 other Cross of Valour and Victoria Cross recipients was one of only 10 Australians to be presented the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Medal. He is also the recipient of other significant awards for bravery, valour and service including the Royal Humane Society Galleghan Award and the New South Wales Police Commissioners Valour Award.

Allan served for 20 years as a frontline police officer.  He was involved in the horrific aftermath of the Hilton Bombing, arrested some of Australia's most notorious criminals, faced the tragedy of murdered colleagues, and saved the life of a drowning child. Allan has seen it all, and then some.

The effects of Allan's work caused dramatic changes in his career, his relationships and his life. Allan had to draw on inner strengths he never knew existed or thought possible.   His life in tatters, Allan set about re-building everything that mattered to him by commencing a process of recovery, a roller coaster of successes and challenges which lasted for many years. Since he was a young child living in the west of NSW, Allan's ambition was to one day sail across the oceans of the world. Allan knew this could be the critical factor in getting his life back on course. 
In March 2009, Allan, his wife and two young children left Australia and boarded their yacht in England.  Taking off on an adventure, many dream about but few can contemplate, they eventually sailed nearly 30,000 klms back to their home port in Australia. Allan and his family achieved their goals with little true 'blue water ' experience.  It is an example of what can be done if you really set your mind to it, have the courage to believe in yourself and those who have their faith and trust in you. Allan's philosophy is a simple one; Never give up on what you really want to achieve in this life.   

Allan's book,
The Cost of Bravery, was published by Australia's largest publishers, Penguin Books Australia, in May 2013.  Click here to read the forward, written by renowned Australian, Mr Ray Martin AM.    

Allan is a renowned inspirational speaker, exclusively represented by Claxton Speakers International.  Allan has appeared at many major corporate events throughout Australia. As a master story teller, he takes you into a world of adrenaline, fear and agony, a place few could ever imagine, a place a few have ever been to and survived. But then he takes you out of that place. He takes you on a wonderful, magical ride of accomplishment. He will leave you holding your breath and wiping your eyes, not with sadness, but with happiness and inspiration, sharing in the absolute joy of what he has been able to achieve.  

“ Allan was one of the keynote speakers at the Grand Finale lunch of the 2014 National Conference of the Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia (ASFA). In front of 1,500 delegates Allan told his story of heroism and resilience in a way that was incredibly moving and at the same time up-lifting and inspiring. From confronting the daily challenges of front line policing to the incredible rescue of a child from a death threatening situation to his own personal challenges Allan spoke with an honesty and sincerity that had every-one in the room holding on to each word. In being awarded the Cross of Valour, the highest bravery award given in Australia to civilians and one of only five recipients, Allan displayed a level of courage few can imagine. Yet his presentation was that of humility, with a good dose of humour that makes Allan the down-to-earth and genuine person that he clearly is. I would not hesitate to recommend Allan as a speaker for any corporate or industry event.

Russell Mason,
Partner - Superannuation - Deloitte
ASFA Conference Committee member.”

As a beyondblue Ambassador and Soldier On Ambassador, Allan also volunteers much of his own time, travelling to events around Australia, telling his story about his experiences with PTSD and Depression and providing knowledge, hope and inspiration to others through his dynamic presentations.    


You can contact Allan any time by heading to our contact page here

Spare a moment to enjoy the rest of Allan's website.

Allan Sparkes - Inspirational Speaker

We engaged Al to speak at our Association of Australian Conference Bureaus annual staff conference. In a world full of hype and hyperbole, it was great to hear a real story told straight from the heart. Al’s story full of raw emotion captivated our group and had everyone on the edge of their seats with not a dry eye in the house. Al received a standing ovation from our group of hardened conference veterans – the first I have ever seen. His message speaks to all walks of life and it was truly humbling for us to have Al share his experiences with us. If you are looking for a real keynote speaker with a real message that everyone will take away with them, then Al is your man.
Scott Lovett, Director Business Events, Tourism NT

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