Allan grew up in Mt Isa and was educated at Mt Isa High School and Brisbane Grammar School before studying a Bachelor of Engineering at The University of Queensland while resident at Emmanuel College from 1970 to 1973.
Allan has over 40 years’ experience in the Australian and international coal industry and is a registered mine manager in South Africa and Australia. Allan commenced work with MIM Limited at Mt Isa and then Union Corporation in South Africa. Subsequently, he joined BP Coal where he was, in succession, Mine Manager at the Howick Open Cut and Director Mining of BP Coal Inc, based in Cleveland, Ohio. After returning to Australia in 1990, he became General Manager of the Agipcoal United underground mine in the Hunter Valley and then General Manager of the Rio Tinto Hunter Valley No 1 and Howick mines. Allan was a founding executive director of Excel Coal through to the takeover of Excel Coal by Peabody in 2006. Allan was also Non-Executive Director of Pacific National Pty Limited, QR National Limited (now Aurizon), QMastor Limited, and, more recently, an executive director of Whitehaven Coal Limited.
Allan is currently a Non-Executive director of Qube Holdings Limited and King Island Scheelite. He is also Director of XLX and Chairman of not-for-profit The Australian Rhino Project.
He is married to Lyn and has two sons, Robert and Andrew.