Allan Sparkes

Speaker | Author | Trainer

Allan Sparkes CV, OAM, VA, FRSN is a truly engaging and informative speaker, Allan has been helping people understand the way their minds and bodies are impacted by negative aspects of their personal and professional lives. This knowledge empowers people to take control and improve their lives, particularly when their mental health is declining.

So where did this knowledge come from? Allan is very candid in relation to his own devastating lived experience of PTSD and Chronic Depression. His story of recovery is nothing short of inspirational. But it doesn’t stop there. Allan spent years researching the ‘why’ factor of how his life was upended and with the benefit of working with some of Australia’s most eminent psychiatrists and psychologists has created this outstanding presentation that has received glowing reviews across Australia and other parts of the world.

But that’s not all, Allan is one of Australia’s most highly decorated citizens, being one of only five Australians in the past 48 years to receive Australia’s highest bravery decoration and civil award, The Cross of Valour. In 2016 Allan was awarded Australia’s fourth highest bravery decoration, the Commendation for Brave Conduct. In 2017 Allan was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) for service to Mental Health Support organisations and the community.  He is also the recipient of the NSW Police Commissioners Valour Award (VA) and the Royal Humane Society of NSW Galleghan Award.

Allan is one of only 10 Australians to receive the Queens Diamond Jubilee Medal and one of only 10 Australians to be awarded the Queens Platinum Jubilee Medal. In September 2022, Allan was invited by St James Palace to attend the funeral of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II where he took part in the Chivalry and Gallantry Procession during the funeral proceedings.

Allan is a 20 year veteran of the NSW Police force, and of recent times,  a Deputy Commissioner of the Mental Health Commission of NSW. He is a qualified trainer of the Mental Health Commission of Canada mental health programs, The Working Mind and the Working Mind for First Responders, one of the founding partners of the Mental Health Training Program, ‘Operational Readiness for First Responders’, the Foundation Patron of the Thomas Kelly Youth Foundation, a Fellow of the Royal Society of NSW, the Chairman of the National Police Bravery Award Committee, a member of the Mental Health Commission Suicide Prevention Advisory Panel and a member of the NSW Police Mental Health Intervention Team. Patron on the Australian Police Over 35’s Rugby Team and apart from being an Australia Day Ambassador, is also an Ambassador for Kookaburra Kids.

He is a former Non-Executive Director of the Gidget Foundation, a former Ambassador for Beyondblue and Soldier On.

Allan is also an accomplished international yachtsman having sailed his own yacht from England to Australia in 2009-2010, the best-selling author of “The Cost of Bravery” (Penguin Books, 2013).

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