Not everyday do you get to meet your heroes, but when you do, sometimes the experience can be your most overwhelming.
Back years ago, I read a book called ‘The Cost of Bravery‘, which is an ex-Copper’s reflections upon the events which caused him his mental health.
Today, I met Allan Sparkes OAM CV who is one of Australia’s 5 recipients of the Cross of Valour for his actions in saving a little bit from raging floodwaters in Coffs Harbour. For years, he has been one of my heroes of hope, that anyone may bounce back from mental illness to achieve incredible things in life.
As part of the NSW Government Graduate Program, Allan came to speak about own mental ill health and his recovery to become the Deputy Commissioner of the NSW Mental Health Commission, and to provide us with wisdom in how we can care for ourselves throughout our careers. Allan is not only a wonderful orator, but one who speaks from his heart and soul and I was so honored to be able to sit down with him for half an hour to speak not only about my own experiences but how I want to help to create a better, more mentally healthy Australia.
Today was an incredible milestone in my life, and I’m still overwhelmed by the experience so I’ll write more about it later. More so than everything else, I am hopeful for our future.
Not pictured: Me ugly-crying with Allan afterwards.