karl telfer

Karl 'Winda' Telfer

Kaurna Cultural Bearer/ Artist/ Community Leader

Karl is a Kaurna man from the Adelaide Plains region of South Australia. Born into a family of strong cultural heritage, who are actively involved in politics, and have always fought for social justice and human rights for Aboriginal people, Karl continues the legacy by integrating his culture with the arts.

Impressed by the Opening Ceremony of the 2000 Adelaide Festival of the Arts, artistically directed and performed by Karl Telfer, Mr Peter Sellars, on his appointment as Artistic Director for the 2002 Adelaide Festival, sought the creative and conceptual talent of Karl for his [Mr Sellars] festival. Karl was the first appointed Aboriginal Associate Director in the long history of the Adelaide Festival of the Arts. He was instrumental in co-creating and directing the Opening Ceremony of the 2002 Adelaide Festival, Kaurna Palti Meyunna, long-remembered for it's closure of Victoria Square for the duration of the Fesitval - the first time that Victoria Square has ever been closed for a cultural ceremony - which forced public and political debate over the 'permanent' closure of the Square.

This was the catalyst for Karl to then be invited to be a member of the design team for the "master plan" for Victoria Square the redevelopment; being considered by the Adelaide City Council and State Government.

A Kaurna Cultural Bearer, an artist, a visual artist and community leader, Karl is modest about his achievements; to him, these are his life works; his purpose of being here. His concern is local, his own people, his own community. However, he is recognised internationally as a cultural ambassador and has been invited to perform and participate culturally in many parts of the world Seattle U.S.A, France, Spain, Singapore, London, Japan, Canada, Germany, Dubai. He was invited to be the face of the ASSITEJ congress bid which was held in Adelaide 2008.

He has been working for the last 6 years with the Tracking project - an international project bringing indigenous knowledge from around the world together in ceremony and discussions about culture/s, including cultural exchange, sharing knowledge with other indigenous groups about cultural renewal and sustainability and the natural environment, into a central forum for discussion.

Karl is the founder of the Paitya Dance Group in Adelaide, which entwines Kaurna knowledge and culture with present experience, including work with Kaurna language, stories.