Clem Jones

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Clem Jones AO
Dr Clem Jones AO.jpg
8th Lord Mayor of Brisbane
In office
Preceded by Reg Groom
Succeeded by Bryan Walsh
Personal details
Born (1918-01-16)16 January 1918
Ipswich, Queensland, Australia
Died 15 December 2007(2007-12-15)
Wesley Hospital, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
Political party Australian Labor Party
Spouse(s) Sylvia nee Murphy
Alma mater University of Queensland
Occupation Businessman, Philanthropist
Profession Surveyor

Clem Jones[1] AO (16 January 1918 – 15 December 2007),[2] a surveyor by profession, was the longest serving Lord Mayor of Brisbane, Australia, representing the Australian Labor Party from 1961 to 1975. He was Chair of the Darwin Reconstruction Commission from 1975 to 1978.[3] He was a successful businessman and philanthropist.

Public life[edit]

During Jones' 15 years in office as the head of the Brisbane City Council, assisted by the Town Clerk J. C. Slaughter, Brisbane underwent considerable change.

In 1961, Brisbane was a city with no town planning, many unpaved streets, limited water supply and few areas with sewers—relying instead on outhouses or septic tanks. Through the 1960s Jones successfully led the council to develop a town plan, seal roads, improve drainage and connect sewers to most of the city.[4] The city council, under his stewardship, purchased city properties to build underground car parks, which were then topped with public parks and gardens.[citation needed]

In the suburbs, land was acquired for open space and parkland. Work started on the development of the Brisbane Botanic Gardens, Mount Coot-tha. Controversially, Jones announced in 1968 the conversion of all tramway routes to diesel bus operation.[5]

In 1971, Jones chose to promote Brisbane as host city for the 1978 Commonwealth Games. Without support from the Queensland Government and due to a lack of preparation, the bid was unsuccessful.[6] Convinced of the benefits and suitability of Brisbane to host the event, Jones completed a winning bid in 1974 for the next games in 1982.[6]

After completing his duties as Lord Mayor in 1975, Jones was briefly the curator at the Brisbane Cricket Ground (the Gabba) and even prepared the wicket for a test match. Jones was also appointed Chairman of the Darwin Reconstruction Commission in 1975 to guide the rebuilding of the city of Darwin after its near destruction by Cyclone Tracy.[7]

Jones stood for the Labor Party for the state seat of Yeronga in 1972 and, at Gough Whitlam's request, the federal seat of Griffith in 1974 – both unsuccessfully.[8] He was involved in the opposition to the attempted federal takeover of the Queensland State Branch of the Party in the early 1980s, being one of several senior members of the Queensland branch to challenge the takeover in the courts. Briefly expelled for his involvement, he was later reinstated to the party and given life membership in recognition of his achievements in Brisbane.

Jones was a delegate in 1998 to the Australian Constitutional Convention as the head of the Clem Jones Constitutional Republic Team. He favoured the republican model of government in which the head of state is directly elected rather than being chosen by Parliament.[citation needed]

Personal life[edit]

Jones was educated at the Anglican Church Grammar School in East Brisbane, Queensland, where he displayed an interest in tennis and cricket.[9][10] His wife, Sylvia, died in 1999. They had no children.[8]


In popular culture[edit]

  • Prior to the redevelopment of the Brisbane Cricket Ground the grandstand was known as the "Clem Jones Stand".
  • The nickname of former Australian cricketer Terry Alderman was "Clem", as Clem Jones was both an alderman and a cricket fan[15][16]
  • The Clem Jones Tunnel, more commonly known as the Clem 7, was named in his honor and opened in Brisbane in 2010.
  • The Leukaemia Foundation of Queensland was a beneficiary of the generous support of Clem Jones who made a significant donation to the Foundation in 2005 and as a result the Foundation named their latest Accommodation and Support Village at Coopers Plains in Brisbane in his honour.
  • Since his death his Estate and Foundation have funded medical research in his name including the Clem Jones Centre for Ageing and Dementia Research[17] at UQ's Queensland Brain Institute, the Clem Jones Centre for Neurobiology and Stem Cell Research at Griffith University and the Clem Jones Research Centre for Regenerative Medicine[18] at Bond University.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Queensland Business Leaders Hall of Fame | Dr Clem Jones AO(1918-2007)". Retrieved 2016-04-20. 
  2. ^ "Former Brisbane mayor Clem Jones dies". ABC. 15 December 2007. Retrieved 15 December 2007. 
  3. ^ "Transcript 3959 | PM Transcripts". Retrieved 2016-04-20. 
  4. ^ Christine Kellett (16 December 2007). "Former Mayor Clem Jones dies". Brisbane Times. Retrieved 26 September 2011. 
  5. ^ "Old Cleveland Road Tramway Tracks". QLD Government, EPA. 8 December 2006. Archived from the original on 21 December 2007. Retrieved 17 December 2007. 
  6. ^ a b Roberts, Beryl (1991). Stories of the Southside. Archerfield, Queensland: Aussie Books. p. 4. ISBN 0-947336-01-X. 
  7. ^ Former Brisbane mayor Clem Jones diesABC News
  8. ^ a b 'Clem the Magnificent', Labor legend, Sydney Morning Herald, 18 December 2007
  9. ^ Mason, James (2011). Churchie: The Centenary Register. Brisbane, Australia: The Anglican Church Grammar School. ISBN 978-0-646-55807-3. 
  10. ^ The Queensland Great Public Schools – A History by T. Max Hawkins, Jacaranda Press, Brisbane 1965, p 208.
  11. ^ It’s an Honour—AO
  12. ^ Queenslander of the Year Archived 21 December 2007 at the Wayback Machine.
  13. ^ It’s an Honour—Australian Sports Medal
  14. ^ It’s an Honour—Centenary Medal
  15. ^ List of nicknames used in cricket. Retrieved on 15 December 2007.
  16. ^ Cricket: From 'Dizzy' to fizzy. Retrieved on 15 December 2007.
  17. ^ "Clem Jones Centre for Ageing Dementia Research (CJCADR)". Queensland Brain Institute. Retrieved 2016-04-20. 
  18. ^ "Clem Jones Research Centre for Regenerative Medicine | Bond University". Retrieved 2016-04-20. 

External links[edit]

Media related to Clem Jones at Wikimedia Commons

Political offices
Preceded by
Reg Groom
Lord Mayor of Brisbane
Succeeded by
Bryan Walsh