He has long seen his life as part of a long journey that started with his maternal ancestors escaping servitude in Scotland to start a new life in Australia; and his Aboriginal paternal great-grandmother fleeing an abusive household at the age of seven.
It is no coincidence his first book follows an arc that crosses two generations. He says one day he would like to write about his ten years working in Aboriginal Australia.
In the early 1980’s, battles were raging across the Kimberley Region of Western Australia between the local Aboriginal population – which was asserting its aspirations for access and control of traditional country – and multi-national mining companies and tour operators.
Allan was employed by the Warmun Aboriginal Community at Turkey Creek in the East Kimberley. Warmun was home to traditional owners of the lands on which the Argyle Diamond Mine and Bungle Bungle (Punalulu) National Park were developed. Allan’s first published compositions were press releases written on behalf of the traditional owners.
On the way from political activist to his first novel, he took time out to complete a Masters in Arts in writing at the University of Technology, Sydney. He also established a private psychotherapy practice in Sydney.
During his training as both a writer and a psychotherapist, he became fascinated with the early characters and conflicts of psychoanalysis.