Allan grew up at Belmont, on the shores of Lake Macquarie, near Newcastle, NSW, Australia.
In his early twenties, he completed his Commerce Degree with a major in economics and was employed as a management trainee with the BHP Pty Ltd.
Allan decided he was not ready to settle into a career, particularly in the corporate world. It was a life changing moment.
Allan was absorbed into the cosmology of the community. He was told Dreamtime stories, taken to sacred sites, held sacred objects, danced in corroborees and attended initiation ceremonies. He was also taken to places where Aboriginal people had been massacred in the early days of white settlement.
Being immersed in another culture challenged Allan to explore the assumptions that underpinned his own upbringing and encouraged him to develop a wider view of what it meant to be human.
Painting by Turkey Creek resident Rover Thomas
Allan returned to Newcastle to complete his BA (Hons.) in Sociology. His thesis considered how Aboriginal identity was constructed by governments and mining companies, but also by people like himself who were working for the communities.
Allan gained a First Class Honours and moved to Sydney to undertake a PhD. However, he had become increasingly interested in the inner world and started to explore psychotherapy.
Allan first engaged with somatic and catharsis orientated therapies. He then experimented with Gestalt and Psychodrama. He ultimately chose a psychoanalytically orientated approach where the patient’s unconscious is explored in the relationship between patient and therapist.
Allan has worked as a psychotherapist in private practice in Sydney since 1991.
He and his partner live in the Sydney’s Inner West. His three children are married and work in various professions.