International Women’s Day with Tam Austen

Backstage with Live



Wednesday, 8th March


Tell us a bit about your role and how you got into this business?

I am the Operations Manager at Roadpro Event Services.  After 20+ years of managing and  co-directing Roadpro with my husband, we have now sold our company and created a solid merger with Live Event Logistics.  I have been involved in the entertainment industry for nearly 40 years – as a stage manager, backstage crew, professional actress, TV commercial roles, loader, driver, not to mention lots of truck touring with Rusty, my husband in the 90’s with iconic bands and festivals ……. Now I’m feeling very old!!!


Would you say the pathways for females working in entertainment freight and logistics have changed since you first started in the industry?

 I believe that it’s an extremely exciting time for everyone in this industry at the moment.  So many exciting events and artists which creates a strong market for support personnel to really build on their career. The doors are relatively open to anyone with drive, a strong work ethic and a willingness to learn.


What or who inspires or motivates you, working in this industry today?  

I am motivated by happy clients and great service.  Knowing that I have done my small part in making an event run smoothly is what drives me to do the best that I can.  I also have an incredible group of drivers surrounding me who always go above and beyond for me and our clients.


Do you find there is comradery and advocacy amongst your female peers in the industry, and what drives that?

My job is quite lonely and email correspondence and phone calls are the lifeline to my female peers.  I have the privilege to work with many women, all of whom are strong, confident and passionate women who sacrifice a lot to work in this sometimes very demanding industry.  I have a special respect for those women who also juggle challenging family situations in the background.  This industry is definitely not a 9-5 job and this takes it’s toll on our time and energy.


What is your favourite venue, site or tour you have worked on and what made it so special?

A favourite venue was definitely the now obsolete Playroom down at the Gold Coast – many great gigs were done there.  I also have great memories of the Byron Bay Blues Fest in the 90’s – Lucky Dube and Ben Harper were highlights.  A special mention to the Bid Day Out Festivals and a very awesome Silverchair performance (which was a special time for me as this is where Rusty and I re-united and now we have 20+ years of marriage)


You are all in for your clients at Roadpro.  What do you enjoy doing in your downtime?

Downtime? What is that? I must admit that hobbies/interests have taken a backseat in the past 10-20yrs.  Basically I enjoy spending time outside of the work environment with my husband and children. We live a really simple life (maybe that’s because our work lives are so hectic) and I’m really looking forward to easing out of the industry to do volunteer work.  I’m a helper at heart and I feel blessed that I’ll shortly be in a position to support others who need a helping hand.


Covid has obviously had a massive impact on the industry. Looking forward, what do you see as the biggest challenges or opportunities over the next 2-3 years?

There are wonderful opportunities in the Australian entertainment sector coming up – especially as we steer towards the 2032 Brisbane Olympic Games.  The logistics involved in a world class event such as this will provide so many avenues for anyone interested in either pursuing a career in event management or for those currently working in our industry to really showcase their knowledge and skills base.


What is the best piece of advice you can give for the next generation of women wanting to get into Entertainment Freight and Logistics?

Do the hard stuff.  Know your client, the workload you place upon your staff  and all aspects of the sector that you are involved in so that you can have complete knowledge and empathy for the organisation that’s involved in scope of your work.  For me that has involved helping load trucks, driving for some of our smaller jobs and taking the time to talk to both staff and clients to really know the issues that they are facing.  If you can step into the shoes of your colleagues and gain first hand knowledge – this is a powerful tool to enable you to create success. 


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