Speakers Profile - Allan Sparkes CV, OAM, VA

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Allan Sparkes is a Deputy Commissioner at the Mental Health Commission of NSW. He is also a Best Selling Author and an International yachtsman. Allan is one of Australia’s most highly decorated citizens, being one of only 5 recipients of Australia’s highest bravery decoration and civilian award, the Cross of Valour (CV). On Australia Day, 2017, Allan was recognised in the Australia Day Honours List for his contributions to mental health and the community by being awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM). In August 2016, the Governor General of Australia announced Allan is to be awarded Australia’s 4th highest bravery decoration, the Commendation for Brave Conduct for saving the life of a man who had fallen onto train tracks at Redfern Railway Station in 2014. No other Australian has ever received these three honours. Allan is also one of only 10 Australians who have been awarded the Queens Diamond Jubilee Medal as well as being a recipient of other significant awards for bravery and service. Allan’s book, ‘The Cost of Bravery’ was published by Penguin Books in May 2013 and reprinted in January 2015.

The following sums up Allan’s outlook on life ...

“There was, and is, nothing unique about me. I just developed the courage to overcome the fear of failure and adopt my very simple philosophy on life, If you have nothing left to lose, give it everything you've got. I carry that philosophy with me every day.”