Skip navigation

Walking within Kuri Kurru

Posted July 5, 2024

Lot Fourteen’s new open space honours the First Culture and Peoples of Place (Kaurna Meyunna)

As we walk into Kuri Kurru – Place of Turning Seasons, the newly opened park at Lot Fourteen, our eyes are drawn to the intricate details and cultural elements integrated into every aspect of its codesign.

Entering the park, six native bottle trees set the scene for the cultural significance of the park.

Look up and you’ll see coloured lights and glass engravings of the celestial orbs of Wodliparri (the Milky Way) above tables shaped like kurru (Aboriginal carrying vessels).

At your feet, are rock seating areas in circles, stone etchings of land and water movement, possum markings on metal tree grates and semi-translucent decals of Kari (emus) and Tarnda (red kangaroos) on a bookable meeting pod.

In the background the sounds of a water feature babbling away near the lawn area and open-air stage surrounded by native plants and Kurrajong.

“This is the place of turning time in country and of turning seasons. Which is why I named it Kuri Kurru.”

Burka, Senior man, Karl Winda Telfer of the Mullawirra Meyunna

The park has eight spaces, some of which hold first nations stories. One such space is Pure Tikkandi (the sitting stones) area, with seven stones illustrating a deep connected relationship of song, ceremony, star and life. They hold a value of the past, present and future in the now as they represent deep cycles of movement throughout the country. This story is held by Burka, Senior man, Karl Winda Telfer of the Mullawirra Meyunna – the Dry Forest people of the Kaurna Meyunna people.

Boundless sat down for a coffee and a yarn with Telfer, to discuss all things cultural and spiritual renewal, the enduring impact of colonisation to the nuances of storytelling.

His passion for his living culture, his two daughters Jakirah and Tikana, and for the world is clear and our conversation meanders from surface to deep, laughing to contemplative.

Telfer worked with his daughters, the park’s landscape architects, Oxigen and the Lot Fourteen project team as Cultural Creative to codesign and lead the cultural layering of the park.

“Our family are bringing our storytelling into this place. Through cultural landscape integration and collaboration. It’s about the stories my family hold and how we bring them to life through Yellaka – ‘Old Wisdom – New Ways’.”

For more than 60,000 years, the land now occupied by Lot Fourteen was an integral site to the Kaurna people as a place for camping and ceremony, between the banks of Tarnda Parri/Karrawirra Parri (Red Gum forest River; River Torrens) and the waterholes of Kainka Wirra (Eucalypt forest, Adelaide Botanic Garden).

When talking of the area’s history, Telfer describes its impact rippling outwards across Kaurna Meyunna Yerta (Kaurna Peoples country).

“The area was used as a traditional sit down place. A place of ceremony.

Specific plants and trees were selected to highlight the changes of the seasons, reflecting Kuri Kurru’s name.

“Kuri Kurru is where we will provide cultural education. We tell the story through the cultural markings on the ground.” Telfer references some of the elements of story, which can be found throughout the park in design elements.

“We are placing the tracks and traces back on the ground, so we can tell the old stories from the past today.

“Bringing better ways of understanding place. It represents more than one generation and those people that hold the wisdom.

“Our stories are as ancient as the rock itself. It’s the creation of a place where we can take people deeper to listen and learn from the first peoples of Country.

When asked about climate change, about the impact of colonisation on Kaurna Meyunna Yerta and of the ancient history Country holds for the Kaurna Meyunna people, Telfer offers up the wisdom he is so highly regarded for:

“I carry story from the past seven generations thinking of the seven coming, I have cultural obligations to care for Country and the people whom now dwell in my Spirit of Place”

“Country will still be here when we’re all gone.”

Read more stories like this on Issue_03 of Lot Fourteen’s Boundless Magazine

High accessibility mode is off
Corner North Terrace and Frome Road
Adelaide 5000
Lot Fourteen is a Department of the Premier and Cabinet project. Design by The Sideways Theory
Design by Sixth Street Design
Developed by Frame Creative
© Lot Fourteen All Rights Reserved
Tenant Portal