What We’re Made Of: Sam Allen, Stellar Entertainment


Sam Allen, Stellar Entertainment, working from home in Sydney.

What We’re Made Of is a Q&A series that looks at how companies in the aviation industry are tackling challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. We’ve had to adapt to changes in where, when and how we work, but we are resilient. If you would like to share your experience, e-mail editor@apex.aero.

Sam Allen
Director of Licensing, Stellar Entertainment
Location: Sydney
Day 10 of working from home
Date of writing: April 2

Are you in lockdown right now?
Australia is in lockdown, although the measures currently are not quite as severe as other parts of the world.

Where are you writing from?
I am currently writing from the dining room table in my mother-in-law’s apartment! With two kids under two years old, working from my own home wasn’t really an option, however I’m fortunate that my mother-in-law lives in the same suburb, meaning I could set up at her place.

How are you trying to maintain “business as usual” or communicating with your team?
Skype, WhatsApp, Phone and Google Hangouts predominantly. I work closely with our teams in the US, Singapore and Malaysia, so fortunately this hasn’t been a huge adjustment for me.

What’s your new office attire or go-to comforts at home during this time?
I’ve swapped a shirt for a T-shirt, and have grown a bit of stubble. Other than that, pretty much the same!

Have you or anyone you know been directly affected by COVID-19?
In terms of economic impact, yes, however health-wise I don’t know anyone personally with a confirmed case of it.

What news outlets are you following?
ABC, BBC, Worldometer

How are you passing time?
I’m actually busier than normal, so sadly I don’t have any additional time to pass!

“We must be understanding and supportive of one and other, and feel confident that this pandemic will pass, and that the industry will thrive again in the future.”

Describe where your business was at the end of 2019. What were your goals/projections for 2020?
Stellar had a core set of clients at the end of 2019, which we were looking to expand upon in 2020.

Can you share some specific challenges your business has faced as a result of the outbreak?
It has been incredibly challenging for our airline clients in particular, and we’ve had to work tirelessly to ensure that we are continuing to deliver for them during these unprecedented circumstances. We’ve had to ask for flexibility from our suppliers and we’re fortunate that many of them have been wonderfully understanding.

How can we, as an industry, work together and rebound from this unprecedented crisis?
We must be understanding and supportive of one and other, and feel confident that this pandemic will pass, and that the industry will thrive again in the future.

Can you describe any new working procedures that you have/will implement in light of new health and safety guidance?
When the crisis initially ramped up, we implemented a company-wide travel ban, no external visitors were allowed to our office, and we conducted daily temperature checks of staff. When lockdown levels increased again, we actioned a work from home policy.

Read more about the coronavirus impact on the air travel industry, including APEX’s position on the matter, and subscribe to the APEX Daily Experience newsletter to stay up to date.