Allan Sparkes is the Deputy Commissioner of the Mental Health Commission of NSW and a former police officer who served on the front line for 20 years, where he was involved in the horrific aftermath of the Hilton bombing, arrested some of Australia’s most notorious criminals and faced the tragedy of murdered colleagues.
Allan is one of Australia’s most highly decorated citizens. He is one of only five Australians in the past 43 years to be awarded Australia’s highest bravery decoration and highest civil award, the Cross of Valour, awarded for ‘acts of the most conspicuous courage in circumstances of extreme peril’. Allan discusses this incident with us in detail in this episode.
In January 2017, Allan was named in the Australia Day Honours List and was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) for service to mental health support organisations and the community. In August 2016, Allan was awarded Australia’s fourth highest bravery decoration, the Commendation for Brave Conduct – once again, Allan talks us through this conduct in this episode.
In December 2012, Allan 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 Commissioner’s Valour Award.
So, it’s safe to say that Allan knows a thing or two about bravery and mental health. And that’s what this episode is all about.
His story is a magnificent example of turning fear into courage and failure into success.
He’s also the author of ‘The Cost of Bravery’ which covers a lot more of his epic journey and I highly recommend you grab a copy here: www.allansparkes.com
In this episode we discuss:
- Bravery – what is it and are we all wired to be brave?!
- Allan’s captivating experiences of bravery that saved people’s lives.
- The Change Room Program and why he’s so passionate about his impact there.
- What it was like being a police officer in Kings Cross and arresting some of Australia’s most notorious criminals.
- His experiences in the darkest moments of his life.
- His relationship with his wife in those challenging year’s.
- What worked for Allan to revitalise his mental health.
- Why a proactive approach to Mental Health is so important!
- His 4 foundation stones that we should all be nourishing and why.
- How Allan reversed type 2 diabetes!
- The Mental Health Continuum model and how it can help you.
- And so much more around the empowering aspects of mental health, including the power of kindness.
We also discuss gut health and the gut-brain connection related to mental wellness and mental health.
If you’re keen to optimise this all-important area of your life, check out all the information at yourlifeofimpact.com/guthealth and please feel free to reach out with any questions at all.
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