WAIATA TELFER Writer/Performer
Waiata Telfer is a Kaurna Narrungga woman of Aboriginal/Burmese British mixed heritage from the Adelaide Plains/Yorke Peninsula region of South Australia. She has experience in acting, dance, choreography, eMCee-ing, singer/songwriting, writing, film-making, cultural arts liaison, project/program management and event co-ordination.
Her involvement in the play Tjindarella in the 1985 Black Women in Focus Festival Adelaide inspired her performing ambitions to Sydney where she graduated from the National Aboriginal Islander Skills Development Association (NAISDA) College in 1993.
Waiata has studied Film and Writing at UTS and University of S.A. and worked in SBS TV in eatcarpet & ICAM. In 1998 Waiata was recipient of an Indigenous Film Mentorship with SBS TV & Metro Screen TV/Sydney scholarship program where she wrote, directed and featured in her short film ‘speak of spirit’.
In 2002 Waiata worked as Associate Director, Adelaide Festival of the Arts, playing an integral role in the creative-cultural direction and management of the Opening Ceremony ‘Kaurna Palti Meyunna’, along with the ‘Cross Connections’ hip hop symposium and concert program, bringing together Indigenous people worldwide to connect upon ritual, art and cultural practice. In 2004 Waiata travelled to London International Festival of Theatre as guest presenter. She was awarded South Australian NAIDOC 2003 artist of the year.
Currently Waiata is focused on her independent theatre project 'SONG:the story of a girl a bird and a teapot' which she has written and gives a solo performance using spoken text, visuals, songs, movement and spoken word to present the narrative. The production will premiere at the Brisbane Powerhouse in 2014.