Another award for Chris Allan
by Mike Isle
Rolleston resident Chris Allan is already the recipient of an impressive list of awards and public recognition for his service to the community. Last month the New Zealand Army put its full weight behind yet another award recognising what the army described as Mr Allan’s remarkable commitment and dedication.
Mr Allan, who holds the rank of major 2/4 Battalion Royal New Zealand Infantry Reserve, received his award at a special awards dinner at Burnham Military Camp. It was presented by the battalion’s commanding officer Lt Col Kendall Langston.
The full citation on the award reads: ‘Awarded to a member of TRADOC (Training & Doctrine Command — the army’s training group) who has demonstrated remarkable commitment and dedication to a social cause, volunteer work, club or team within organisations in the community.’
Chris Allan has certainly done that. He features frequently in this newspaper for his work with community organisations — most notably with the Joshua Foundation, which he heads, Christchurch Men’s and Women’s prisons, and the Waitaha Learning Centre.
Most of his work involves young people.
“My aim is to develop leaders within the community through leadership and mentoring in order to provide young people with confidence, leadership ability and a personal self-belief,” he said.
“I want to address current trends, which see both self-destructive behaviour and negative attitudes within young people. Then empower them to establish a life vision, set goals and then support them to facilitate the necessary changes to allow the young person to achieve their vision.”
Major Allan is described as a no-nonsense straight-shooting youth worker, who is passionate about meeting young people, then engaging, connecting and relating to them.
His work in the community has reaped numerous awards. In 2017, he was New Zealand Defence Force Volunteer of the Year, Kiwi Bank Local Hero of the Year in 2018 and Selwyn District Council Community Services Award recipient in 2018.
However, Mr Allan said his greatest award is the opportunity he has been given to give something back to the community. Mr Allan, who was in 2018 diagnosed with a rare cancerous sarcoma, which he has since beaten, said his focus and passion was helping vulnerable and underprivileged young people.
“The only thing I want is to see them succeed.”