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, 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 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 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 to
others through his dynamic presentations.
In May 2014, Allan has 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 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 a moment to explore the rest of his website.