The Queensland Telugu Association Inc.

On June 21st June 2008, 14 Brisbane Telugu people met at 140, Main Street, Kangaroopoint Qld 4079 and decided to start Queensland Telugu Association (QTA). An interim body consisting of Dr. Prakash Nallamilli as president and Mr. Dasharadhi Karamchedu as treasurer was elected unanimously. An executive committee of 12 people present at the meeting (Mrs. Bala Denduluri, Mr. Joga Rao Nakka, Dr.Prasada rao Nagulapalli, Mr. Raju chamala Mrs. Rama Kanchibotla, Dr. Sarma Kanchibotla, Mr. Sai Laxminarayana Gollapudi, Mr. Srinivasa Reddy Kota, Mrs Vani Chamala, Mr. Vinayaka rao Ramagiri, Mrs. Vijaya Madhavi Gollapudi, Mr Viswanath Denduluri) advised and helped the interim body to complete the formalities of forming QTA. Soon after the Association was registered, Mr. Sai Lakshminarayana Gollapudi was co-opted as Secretary.

Telugu is an ancient South Indian language spoken in the state of Andhra Pradesh in India spoken by at least 75 million people world-wide and constitutes 15th most spoken language world-wide. Telugu community in QLD is growing very rapidly and it is estimated that there are around 500 families with Telugu background within Brisbane and QLD. In addition, overseas student population with Telugu background is also growing rapidly. The QTA organised its very first cultural event “Annamayya Aradhana” on 6th Sep 08, with the help of Mr Joga Rao Nakka and his family, at Sree Laxmi Narayan Temple, at Burbank, QLD. Participation came from Telugu, Tamil, Kannada, and various other groups who celebrated the 600th birthday of Saint Annamacharya.

Sri Tallapaka Annamacharya (1408 - 1503) was the first Indian poet, singer and musician of Telugu literature (Vaggeyakara in Telugu language). Sri Annamacharya composed more than 32,000 poems in Telugu language, a feat which is near impossible to replicate. These were found engraved on copper plates that were hidden for centuries inside the Sri Venkateshawara (Lord Balaji) temple at Tirumala Tirupathi. Queensland Telugu Community originated with the arrival of Dr. Yugandhara Rao Vadlamudi and his family in 1969 from Armidale NSW to Brisbane to take up an academic position at Queensland University St.Lucia. In 1970s the community increased to three families with the arrival of, Dr. Daniel Jillella - family and Dr Shankaraiah Chamala and family who also came to join Queensland University at St. Lucia.

Dr.Kameswara Rao Ayyalaraju came to take up an academic position at the then Capricornia Institute of Advanced Education (CIAE) - now Central Queensland University.! In 1980s Dr Rama Sastry Vedam family moved to Queensland from Victoria to join Queensland Electricity Generating Board and Dr Prasada Rao Nagulapalli family moved to Brisbane from Nigeria and subsequently joined the Australian Bureau of Meteorology. Since then the growth of the Telugu community was at a faster rate than ever before. !As the number of families and student numbers increased, Telugu community members started gathering for social occasions like Ugadi (Telugu New Year), Dasara and Deepawali.

Mr.Venkat Pattabathula initiated a directory of Telugu residents of Brisbane. This was later updated by Mr. Venu Chivukula. Since 1997 Dr Kameswara Rao Ayyalaraju took up the task of maintaining the Queensland Telugu Community directory with regular updates. ! !With the help of a few dedicated volunteers, Mrs Amrutha Vedam, Mrs Shakuntala Chamala and Mrs Sudha Pattabathula formed Queensland’s first Telugu School. Initially, this school was run each week in volunteers’ homes and gradually shifted to Indooroopilly State Library meeting room.! Queensland’s first Telugu Radio - Telugu Lahari - is a community radio group based in Brisbane, Australia. This group was formed by a few families and friends with Telugu background in Brisbane. On 7th September 2005 it broadcast its very first program in Telugu on Radio 4EB. Dr Kameswara Rao Ayyalaraju was the champion of this initiative.

The Association’s current Elected Board Members are:
President: Mrs. Navaneetha Thatimakula
Vice-President: Mrs Ratna Buddhavarapu
Secretary: Mrs Uma Guduru
Treasurer: Mr. Srikrishna Ravipati
Cultural Secretary: Mr Srikanth Talla
Executive Member: Mr. Ravi Sanikommu
Executive Member: Mr. Balaji Kadiyala
Co-opted Member: Mr Omkar Murthy Paladugu
Co-opted-Member: Mr. Ravi Gundepalli
Co-opted-Member: Mr. Naga Sainath Chavatapalli
Co-opted Member: Mr. Mukesh Dubey
Co-opted Member: Mrs. Pushpa Vyasabhattu
Co-opted-Member: Mr. Devendra Motaparti

QTA is a member of FICQ, the umbrella body covering most Indian ethnic associations in Queensland. The Association received a grant of $1500 from the Queensland Government in 2010 to celebrate its cultural festivals. The recent declaration of Hyderabad and Brisbane as sister cities adds importance to the Telugu community – the former being the capital of Andhra Pradesh.Dr Meher Prasad Chitamuneedi, Dr Gupta Kandula and Dr Purushottam Naidu Bodapati became patrons of QTA by pledging an recurrent annual donation of $500.