Karl Winda Telfer
Karl Winda Telfer is a Kaurna man from the Adelaide Plains region of South Australia. He is a custodian of ceremony, a cultural educator and a designer/artist. Karl has been involved in Aboriginal cultural and spiritual renewal all his life, coming from a family of strong cultural and political activity. He is known in his, and the wider, community as a knowledge keeper for the fire in his Country.
In 1993 he co-founded the Tjilbruke Dancers (the first Kaurna cultural renewal ensemble in Adelaide), in 1996 he founded the Paitya cultural ensemble and recently Yellaka Old Wisdom-New Ways entwining Kaurna knowledge systems and culture through language, stories, song, ceremony and ritual. In 2001 he was invited as a Kaurna cultural ambassador to participate in the Tracking Project, New Mexico, which was a forum of teachers and Indigenous elders from around the world to design a series of teachings, through a seven year program. He was the inaugural Aboriginal Associate Director for the 2002 Adelaide Festival of Arts where he co-produced and co-directed the global ceremony of peace, Kaurna Palti Meyunna, in Tarndanyangga/Victoria Square. This contributed to Victoria Square becoming a shared place with dual names and the public debate on the design and the bicultural usage of the Square.
Karl fulfilled a major role in the Victoria Square/Tarndanyangga Regeneration Master Plan (2003-2010) with Taylor Cullity Lethlean. Karl was awarded the President’s Prize by the SA Chapter, AILA, for his contribution to public space design through bi-cultural collaboration. He has been a member of the Adelaide City Council’s Reconciliation Committee, the South Australian Aboriginal Advisory Council (to the Premier) and the South Australian Aboriginal Heritage Committee, the South Australian Country Arts Board and the Natural Resources Management Board.