The Cross of Valour (CV) is Australia's highest bravery decoration and is also Australia's highest civilian honour. It is awarded for ' The most conspicuous courage in circumstances of extreme peril'
. It has only been presented 5 times
since the award's inception in 1975. Allan was awarded the Cross of Valour by the Gov
ernor General of
Australia, Sir William Deane AC,KBE,QC for his rescue of a child who was trapped in a flooded storm water system in Coffs Harbour.
Allan has also been awarded some of the NSW Police and the Royal Humane Societies highest awards for bravery and service.
In December 2012, Allan was one of only 10 Australians to be awarded the Queens Diamond Jubilee Medal, a personal gift from Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II. The medal was presented to Allan and 3 other Cross of Valour recipients by Her Excellency, The Governor General, Ms Quentin Bryce AC, CVO at a special ceremony at Government House, Canberra on December 14 2012
By reading Allan's Cross of Valour citation
, you will understand some of what happened that day. It is a story of courage, determination and mateship. It is a story of how he and his partner, with nothing more than a torch and some rope, placed their lives in each other's hands to search for and ultimately locate and save a young child who had been swept 600 metres
down a flooded storm water pipe. What should have been one of the greatest chapters in his life, quickly turned Allan's life upside down. 20 years of front line police work had finally taken it's toll.
Within weeks of Jai's rescue, Allan's life began a rapid downward spiral and despite his best attempts to overcome the demons that had taken up residence in his mind, suicide seemed the only alternative. Allan is very frank and honest about how his life fell apart from chronic post traumatic stress disorder coupled with chronic depression. How he was able to overcome these debilitating mental illnesses is nothing short of inspirational. 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 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; Nev
er give up on what you really want to achieve in this life.
Allan took on some new challenges when he came back to Australia, writing his biography which was edited by Mark Whittaker,
Walkely Award winning journalist and award winning author. A poignant story about Allan and his wife Deb recently appeared in the popular 'Two of Us'
column of the Good Weekend Magazine, a feature of the Sydney Morning Herald and The Age newspapers. That story attracted the attention of one of Australia's major publishers. Allan's book, The Cost of Bravery will be released by Penguin Books Australia on May 22, 2013
Allan recently featured in a moving story titled 'Hero Cop' presented by Ray Martin on A Current Affair, the story can be viewed here
If you have the time, why not explore the rest of this website.