In her element

Written on the 9 September 2009

Developer Chiou See Anderson knows a thing or two about fighting for what you believe in. In 2003, the 41-year-old sold her home and set out to raise sufficient capital to buy an 3.68ha site at Springwood formerly owned by John Paul College for $1.2 million.

This month work starts on her grand vision – the $60 million pre-retirement community, Elements Third Age Living @ You have successfully tapped into a market where demand is set to soar given Australia’s rapidly ageing population.

With demographic playing such a vital role, what’s the point of difference with this project?
For the most part, Australians tend to be a bit suspicious about retirement living and view it as stuffy, institutionalised and just a short step to the pearly gates. I want to revolutionise aged living and offer a community that focuses on socialising, independent living, self discovery and life-long learning.

Rather than building just a village, I wanted to create an environment that fosters meaningful relationships and values the importance of a healthy mind, body and spirit.

In order to complement the natural environment, including an adjoining koala sanctuary, the homes will be fitted with a range of sustainable features including water tanks and solar powered heating.

Elements Third Age Living @ Springwood is based on the philosophy of successful ageing, which allows each resident to enhance their third age – or the period after our families have left home and full-time careers take a back seat.

The process involved a battle with local council for DA that went all the way to the Planning and Environment Court. Were you confident of a result?
The reasons for council’s refusal grew and grew and in turn I had to defend each of the issues raised with nine expert witnesses, 10 lay witnesses, one Queen’s Counsel, one junior barrister and a team of solicitors.

You have a background in mining accounting. How did that help to prepare you?
I got into this when I was 35 and I knew that if I lost it all, I could still bounce back. I approached former clients that I did work for as an accountant to become partners in 2003. Last year we turned that debt into equity via a private equity partner. My vision got better as I got older. When it came to put the deal together, I knew how to do it. Also, being humble enough to know that you do not know everything and to take on advice was important.

In 2006, you were awarded a doctoral scholarship at Bond University and given a position on a national research team exploring senior living alternatives in Australia. You are now doing a PhD. How important is it to be constantly learning in your space?
Doing a PhD at Bond University sets me apart from other entrepreneurs in the marketplace. It’s part of always believing that you cannot possibly know everything. I enjoy learning and I also have a bachelor of business and an MBA.

What keeps you grounded?
Three teenage children keep me grounded and keep me focused. If I didn’t have children, I’d be lazy. I need to be driven in a landscape that is dominated by men. In a lot of aspects women allow themselves to be discounted, but that’s not me.

Is there a business mantra that you adhere to?
I have always been very decisive, you need that in business. Just do it. Trust your gut instinct because the people who give you advice don’t have capital risk. I put it all on the line and sold my house to raise the capital.Springwood.


Latest News

ASF UNVEILS TRAFFIC PLANS FOR THE SPIT

A SECOND bridge over the Nerang River is the centrepiece of the ASF Consortium's plan to improve traffic flow ...

BHP AND VALE EDGE CLOSER TO $47.5 BILLION SAMARCO DAM DISASTER SETTLEMENT

BHP Billiton (ASX: BHP) and Brazilian mining company Vale have entered into a preliminary agreement with Brazilian fe...

BLK SPORT FOUNDER TYRON BRANT REMAINS CEO UNDER NEW OWNERS

BLK Sport has been purchased from receivers McGrathNicol by a private consortium composed of a TimorLeste-based oi...

CARSALES CEO RETIRES AS NEW COMPETITOR COX FINALISES MERGER

CARSALES will have a new CEO as it takes on a fresh challenger to its crown as the dominant online car sales portal i...

Related News

CARSALES CEO RETIRES AS NEW COMPETITOR COX FINALISES MERGER

CARSALES will have a new CEO as it takes on a fresh challenger to its crown as the dominant online car sales portal i...

BUSINESS CONFIDENCE AT A SIX-YEAR HIGH

SMALL and medium businesses have entered 2017 with their confidence at a six-year high, building on strong gains m...

CONSUMERS PESSIMISTIC ENTERING 2017

CONSUMER confidence remains at its weakest point since April 2016, according to the latest Westpac Melbourne Institut...

RISE OF STARTUP SUPPORT PROGRAMS NOT AS ROSY AT IT SEEMS

ENTREPRENEURIAL cultivation companies in Australia are appearing quickly, but questions have been raised about whe...

Contact us

Email News Update Sign Up Contact Details
Subscriptions

PO Box 2087
Brisbane QLD 4001

LoginTell a FriendSign Up to Newsletter