Property Australia

Number cruncher

Karen Jamal Karen Jamal August 10, 2021

Quantity surveyors are often unsung heroes, and this week’s Secret Star is Slattery director Anthea Chang who translates building drawings into dollars and cents.

Anthea Chang, Director, Slattery

Three words to describe my job… Value, patience and integrity.

When I explain my role to people outside the property industry, I say… Translating what you see on building drawings into dollars and cents and helping to make projects work.

My three daily work essentials are… Coffee. Diary. Sanity (Focus).

The biggest lesson I’ve learnt in my role… Honesty is the best policy with a pinch of “better be late than wrong!”

My career motivation is… There is always something new to learn and it is essential to pass on lessons learned to the next generation also.

My advice to others considering a career in my field… As quantity surveyors, you are rarely the centrepiece but you will play a key role as the glue that holds everything together! If you are great with numbers, love buildings and enjoy working in a collaborative environment, then you’ll love being a quantity surveyor. Most of the time, it is not about being recognised, but knowing that you played a (very) vital role in delivering an outstanding project outcome.

The building or project that embodies what I do… While I work on a number of complex building projects across health and mixed-use, one of my current projects is the Sandstones Precinct Redevelopment on 35-39 Bridge Street in Sydney’s CBD by Pontiac Land Group.

This is a once-in-a-generation project redeveloping an iconic heritage-listed building into a major six-star hotel with 192 keys. It is a complex and challenging project that involves traditional restoration of the heritage façades and interior elements while upgrading the 1938 building to comply with current codes to serve as a prestigious hotel.

Balancing complex project requirements against the budget is extremely challenging and I am lucky to be part of an amazing team cost managing the project.

The inspirational quote I live by… There are 2: Learn from other’s mistakes; and check your formula!!

This year I’ll be… in the prime of my 30-plus year career!! I am looking forward to mentoring our Sydney women, particularly sharing my knowledge of the industry to the future generation. My immediate focus, though, is to achieve a great outcome for the Sandstones project.


Who nominated Anthea? Sarah Slattery, Managing Director

Why is Anthea a Secret Star? As one of our Sydney team’s most experienced quantity surveyors, Anthea brings patience and innovative solutions to complex projects. Her ability to navigate the myriad of heritage and design issues relevant to the Sandstones project is unique and very treasured in our business and by our clients. We can’t wait to see the results of her hard work on Sandstones come to fruition in an outstanding building for the City of Sydney.