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Alan, Just Alan
14 Jul 2014
Published To

When people ask for my name they expect a simple answer. Lets just say its complicated. When I was younger I was Alan Collis, my white name. This name represents a neglected child whose suffering began when he was ripped apart from his roots. My other name, Alan Hilt resembles a man who desperately seeked a family, culture and an identity. So far, each challenging stage in my life is resembled by a different name. And now I’m Alan, just Alan.


Alan Collis-

“I don’t walk for anything, I just walk for the sake of walking.” I enjoy the city. Nothing is ever the same, something is always different. “Buildings get pulled down, old buildings that you used to know where you used to do this and that have disappeared.” The city environment gets me thinking, a good kind of thinking. But today it’s a bad kind of thinking. I’ve realised that I’m the constant in this world of change. Why aren’t I changing? I’ve stayed the same for as long as I can remember. I’m miserable, lonely and lost. I lack a purpose, an identity.


Alan Hilt-

“In the bush you can do lots of things.” Freedom, it’s a wonderful thing. The environment is very different to the city. In the city you feel alone. But here you feel apart of something, you feel good about yourself. I’m playing footy today down at Cunnamulla. “We all had to rake up for petrol” to get their. “We played at around three o’clock in the afternoon and finished at six.” We won, we celebrated and we enjoyed. The next day I travelled to Dubbo, then Orange and then Narromine. “Every time I went to a different town I met different people and discovered different views.” I noticed one thing, everywhere I travelled it was always “we”. I found my mob. I found happiness. I found my community, my crew, my family. “That’s the difference between black and white.” In the bush “we walk down the road and there’s always someone you're related to” and I don’t mean by blood. There’s a sense of togetherness and belonging. Something that I so desperately seeked. And now I have it.



Alan, just Alan-

Two years ago someone asked me if I drink, I replied with a very stern “no” and they replied “Good, that’s the lifestyle. When you get a lifestyle with them things it’s hard to change.” I learnt this the hard way.

I found my identity, but with it came the good and the bad. The footy team and the family I found was the good. I found everything that was missing from my life, everlasting joy and happiness. Yet I also found sadness and great regret. I realised that with a mob, a crew, comes pressure. Pressure to do whatever they're doing, to fit in. Fitting in resulted in an alcohol addiction and with that came violence. “You’ve got all the young fellas, they look around and they want to fight someone.” I’ve realised that ,yes, you need togetherness but you also need an individual view to tell you what’s right and wrong. “So I gave up drink and got it together, wouldn’t be here otherwise.”



I went in search of more, more than just the city. I found it, I found change. Now I live in Redfern, great place. Got my mob, but I’ve also got my individual views on what I think is best for me.

My name is Alan, just Alan.


By Jasmine 

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