In 2009, Di Jones Real Estate Established The Matthew Jones Foundation In The Name Of Her Son, Who Passed Away At Just 34 Years of Age.
Matthew’s spirit and artwork continue to support and inspire the local community
The Foundation was established to remember him in a joyous way with the Matthew Jones Award. Each year Di Jones Real Estate organises, funds and hosts this children’s art competition involving local primary schools throughout the Eastern Suburbs. The Foundation distributes prize money to local and special needs schools whilst encouraging and nurturing young local talent.
The only son of Bill and Di Jones and brother to Kim was born in 1973 with mental and physical disabilities that required high cost specialist care. Already highly motivated to support not only Matthew but others families with similar needs, Di Jones was relentless in establishing the most nurturing environment possible for Matthew right up until his unexpected death in 2008.
Her efforts continued with the immediate establishment of The Matthew Jones Foundation with the aim of raising funds for two specialist educational facilities – Wairoa School and the Warrah Special School where Matthew was cared for and spent a significant part of his life.
Artwork is exhibited at the Sherman Contemporary Art Foundation in Paddington and sold to raise funds to support the Warrah and Wairoa schools. Each year Di Jones Real Estate gives $6,000 in prize money to community schools.
Local businesses such as Thomas Dux Grocer, Hotel Ravesi at Bondi, Jo Malone’s Woollahra boutique, Chiswick Restaurant and Bar, the Woollahra Hotel, Lesley McKay’s Bookshop and many others continue to donate valuable prizes, showing strong support for the Matthew Jones Foundation.
Over the past five years, more than $50,000 has been raised for not only Warrah and Wairoa - now several schools benefit from Di Jones’ personally inspired philanthropy throughout Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs.
Now in the seventh year of organizing the art competition, Di Jones Real Estate is looking forward to opportunities to expand its fundraising efforts through online social media strategies to reach even more children and raise awareness of the work done with the Matthew Jones Foundation.
PATRONS TO THE MATTHEW JONES FOUNDATION
Dr Gene Sherman AM (PhD, University of Sydney, 1981) is Chairman and Executive Director of Sherman Contemporary Art Foundation, a philanthropic organisation dedicated to the public exhibition of significant contemporary art from Australia, the Asia-Pacific region and the Middle East. From 1986–2007 she was Director and Proprietor of Sherman Galleries. Dr Sherman is Adjunct Professor, UNSW Art & Design (formerly COFA);,inaugural patron of the Designers Circle for the MAAS Centre for Fashion; and a board member of The Australian Institute of Art History (2013) and Sydney Contemporary (2014). She is Co-Chair of the Tate Asia-Pacific Acquisitions Committee, a member of the International Association of Art Critics, and an Asialink Asia Literacy Ambassador. The Foundation is a member of CIMAM, the International Committee of ICOM for Museums and Collections of Modern Art, and recently supported Dinh Q. Lê’s project for dOCUMENTA (13), Sketches of Life from the War Zone, 2011–12. Dr Sherman’s former board appointments include: Powerhouse Museum (1994–2001); Bundanon Trust (1995–2002); Deputy Chair, Power Institute Council at the University of Sydney (1996–2006); ARTAND Australia (formerly Art & Australia) (2003–2015); and Deputy Chair, National Portrait Gallery Board (2008–2015). She regularly lectures to a wide range of institutions on topics such as gallery management, the art of collecting, philanthropy, private foundations and contemporary Japanese fashion.