Allan Sparkes, CV VA

    Allan Sparkes CV,VA

      Inspirational Speaker, Author,

Beyondblue Ambassador, Soldier On Ambassador

'A master story teller'

Allan is one of only five Australians in the past 39 years to be awarded Australia's highest bravery decoration, the Cross of Valour, awarded for 'The acts of the most conspicuous courage in circumstances of extreme peril.' In December 2012, Allan 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.

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.

Two significant events in 1995 and in 1996 culminated in the end of Allan’s police career due to the cumulative effects of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) coupled with chronic depression. The first of these events was the murder of two police colleagues. The second being the rescue of a small child trapped in a storm water pipe, for which Allan was awarded the Cross of Valour, Australia’s highest bravery decoration. Despite these acts of bravery and valour, Allan was struggling.

“My mind was going out of control with the symptoms of PTSD. I became suicidal and ultimately had a complete mental breakdown," he said.   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 and that is exactly what he did. 

In March 2009, Allan and his family 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 is a renowned 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's book, The Cost of Bravery, was released by Penguin Books Australia on May 22, 2013.   Are you on facebook? 

Click on the logo to visit the The Cost of Bravery facebook page.        

Allan has appeared on 60 Minutes, A Current Affair, Richard Fidler's ABC   Conversation Hour, numerous commercial radio stations around Australia, Radio National and The Midday Show. He has appeared on the front page of the Sydney Morning Herald, The Australian, The Weekend Australian Magazine (twice) and recently, Allan and his wife Deb, featured in ‘The Two of Us’ column in Australia's newspaper magazine of the year, the Good Weekend Magazine.

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


In breaking news, Allan has just featured on Channel Nine News Sydney where he was captured on CCTV saving the life of an aboriginal man who had fallen onto railway tracks at an underground platform of the Redfern railway station, an inner city suburb of Sydney, Australia.

Allan was asked to help create a new Penguin Books Australia Ideas video.  He was asked to comment on the challenging theme of 'What makes a Hero?' How would you have answered that question?

Allan recently featured in a moving story titled 'Hero Cop' presented by Ray Martin on A Current Affair.

Allan recently took part in the beyondblue's national 'mantherapy' campaign.

Allan has also undertaken a number of national radio interviews, including Richard Fidler's Conversation Hour. You can listen to those interviews by clicking here.

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

Take the time to explore the rest of this 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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