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Judy Matear generously supports Convent tenants

Artist Judy Matear is a generous supporter of the Abbotsford Convent. She recently joined us for lunch at Julie and to hear about how her targeted gift for 90 tenants in the Convent Building is making improvements. Judy’s gift, alongside investment from the Abbotsford Convent Foundation, will enhance the kitchenettes, lounge areas and hallways, increasing the comfort, amenity and welcome of these gathering places.  

In addition, these works are bolstered by a grant we received from the Federal Department of Industry, Science and Resources that has enabled replacement of carpets, ensuring a much safer and aesthetically pleasing environment and context for the significant heritage building.   

Enrica Longo, the Convent’s Head of Development, spoke with Judy Matear 

1.  Judy, why is the Abbotsford Convent so special to you?
A long time ago the Convent buildings were going to be demolished and I got upset about that. I hate historic buildings being wasted and demolished. I was a great supporter of the movement to save the place

2.  How have you experienced the Convent over the years?
I must say until Rick Matear (my son) got involved in the Convent as an artist hiring a studio, I did not have much to do with the Convent. Rick has been very happy there. He has made great friendships and used the cafes and other resources. The Convent is beautiful with the trees and expanse of the place and is special. I didn’t realise the vastness of the place until we met there the other week. I realized then that you need millions to restore the beautiful place, don’t you.

3.  What do you hope for, for the Convent’s future?
I hope that the Convent is a wonderful tourist attraction, and that people will be interested in the historical background of the place, including the buildings, and always support it.

4.  What encouraged you to become a supporter of the Convent?
I became a supporter really because of Rick and his involvement. I like to see something specific from my donations and keep doing something for the Convent.

5.  What led you to become a painter yourself after raising your four children and a long career in business with your late husband, Bruce Matear AM?
I have always dabbled in painting since I was a schoolgirl when I was good at art. Since school days I have done several classes over the years. When my late husband, Bruce was quite unwell with dementia towards the end of his life, I took art classes on a Wednesday and the classes helped me tremendously through a very trying time. My husband died 7 years ago. I think I have been painting full time for 12 years now.  When my four children were young, I started being involved in charity work, then helped in the family business later in life, and then helped my daughter with her restaurants, and I have loved it all.