By Melissa Blewitt
Allan Sparkes, CV, OAM, VA, FRSN, has been announced as the Lachlan Shire Australia Day Ambassador for 2021.
Lachlan Shire Mayor John Medcalf OAM said he was pleased to hear that such a highly decorated Australian would be coming to help Lachlan Shire residents celebrate Australia Day.
“We are honoured to have Mr Allan Sparkes CV, OAM, VA, FRSN visit the Lachlan Shire for our Australia Day celebrations. Please join us at the SRA Pavilion, Condobolin on the morning of the 26 January to hear Allan’s Ambassador speech,” he said.
Allan is a former Deputy Commissioner of the Mental Health Commission of NSW and one of Australia’s most highly decorated citizens.
He is one of only five Australians in the past 42 years to receive Australia’s highest bravery decoration and civilian award the Cross of Valour.
Allan has also been awarded Australia’s fourth highest bravery decoration, the Commendation for Brave Conduct, for saving the life of an Aboriginal man who had fallen onto the path of an oncoming train at Redfern Railway Station in 2014.
On Australia Day in 2017 Allan was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) for service to Mental Health Support organisations and the community. Allan is one of only 10 Australians to receive the Queens Diamond Jubilee Medal.
As a former 20 year veteran of the NSW Police Force, Allan is also the recipient of the National Police Medal for Service, the Royal Humane Society of NSW Galleghan Award, the NSW Police Commissioners Valour Award (VA), the National Medal for Service and the NSW Police Diligent and Ethical Service Medal.
Allan is 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 and an Ambassador for Kookaburra Kids.
He is a proud supporter of Tribal Warrior Indigenous Youth program and the Indigenous Never Going Back Program at the National Centre for Indigenous Excellence at Redfern. He is a mentor for the Indigenous Police recruiting program IPROWD.
Allan is a member of the Mental Health Commission Suicide Prevention Advisory Panel and a member of the NSW Police Mental Health Intervention Team.
Allan is also an accomplished international yachtsman, having sailed his own yacht from England to Australia in 2009-2010. He is also the best-selling author of “The Cost of Bravery” and an active member of the Australian Police Rugby Union O/35’s team.