Funeral for Ross Kevin Taylor

It was standing room only in Adelaide Town Hall on Thursday morning August 18th when over 1100 people packed the historic concert hall to pay tribute to beloved landscape architect, Kevin Ross Taylor.













The grand Victorian architecture and soaring ceilings of the most majestic space in Adelaide Town Hall contrasted with displays of white spring blossoms from the Botanic Gardens, a forest of seedlings from State Flora at Belair and a beautifully simple `house’ for Kevin fashioned from Tasmanian oak by Adelaide-based master craftsman and furniture designer, Khai Liew.


Ashleigh Tobin OAM played the magnificent organ, with the congregation’s heartfelt singing of “Amazing Grace”, led by soloist Lauren Henderson, reverberating throughout the historic building.


Celebrants Geoff Boyce and Rev. Sandy Boyce, neighbours and dear friends of Kate and Kevin, officiated, lending support to those who paid tribute to Kevin.


Called back from Germany by Kevin’s spirit, Kaurna Aboriginal cultural bearer, Karl Winda Telfer conducted a Ceremony of Spirit for his beloved friend.




Tributes were paid by Kevin’s brother, Ron Taylor, Wendy Sarkissian, Phil Harris, Judith Hughes, Perry Lethlean and members of Taylor Cullity Lethlean, Greg Burgess, Kevin’s daughters, Danaë and Emily Taylor, and Dom Chris of the New Norcia Benedictine monastery in Western Australia.


Ron Taylor


Ron Taylor chronicled Kevin’s early life, explaining that he had been, because of the early death of their father, like both a brother and a son to him. He offered an understanding of the man who was, in Ron’s words, “born into a conservative Christian family of very limited means.” He helped us understand that humble origins, in this case, were no impediment to greatness. His brother is, in his words, “a self-made man”: a beautiful person, no ego, no alpha male, no need for them – peace-loving, quietly but highly focussed.”

I spoke directly to Kevin, acknowledging that he lives on in our lives, our work and our love for him.

I chronicled some of his early days as my architecture student and expressed my gratitude for “a great, humble and exceptionally beautiful man.”


Perry Lethlean made no secret of the fact that “Kevin was our secret”: a unique, calm and quiet leader, with a moral compass with which his colleagues could connect. Perry said, “His values became our shared values without us ever realising it.”


Phil Harris, survivor of the accident that ended Kevin’s life on Earth, spoke of the many insights and small delights of sharing time with him, especially in the days before the accident.


Danaë Taylor reminded us that while he was many things to many people, Kevin always was and always will be, to her and Emily, “Our Dad”, consistently communicating his love for them in many, many touching ways.


Greg Burgess

For Kevin’s close friend, architect Greg Burgess, Kevin was “like a crucible ─ an intense inner alchemical fermentation always going on; of suffering, aspiration, love, transformation and healing.” He celebrated Kevin’s ability to be “intensely present” and his profound inner gratitude to be alive. Greg echoed the words of other speakers when he described “the wonderful complementarity” between Kevin and his wife, Kate Cullity, how they adored and supported each other in an atmosphere of redemptive love.


Kevin Taylor and Kate Cullity












A long personal and professional friendship nourished by many annual holidays had enriched Greg’s picture of his friend: “When working with Kevin, mystery was respected, enchantment encouraged, silence, love and grace had a place and a time.”


Kevin’s Dream

In the beautifully illustrated commemorative booklet was a dream recorded by Kevin a fortnight before he died:




Arms outstretched, lifting off the ground

Others flying too

Flying smoothly, gliding,

Looking down at the earth below.

It’s so easy.


That was the last entry in Kevin’s journal.

Tribute to Kevin Taylor from David Yencken

Kevin Taylor



Kevin Taylor came to work for Merchant Builders (a housing company that  Johnny Ridge and I had started) when he was a young man.


It was his first job.


He came with a strong personal recommendation from Wendy Sarkissian (then lecturing in Adelaide) who had taught him.


She has reminded me that so good was the thesis she sent me before we employed him that I asked her three times if she had helped to write it.


He more than lived up to her judgement of him.


He was a person of great flair and imagination and from the beginning had a rare ecological awareness. He was  always  interested in different ways of reaching out and working with those for whom projects and designs were being prepared.


His own personal qualities, his commitments, his warmth and friendliness and personal values illuminated his work.


I continued to have irregular contact with him over the years and am greatly saddened by his death.


To  Kate and  his family and to all those at Taylor Cullity Lethlean, I send my deepest condolences.




David Yencken, Melbourne


Email: [email protected]

Kevin Taylor: Tributes and Funeral

A great, humble and exceptionally beautiful man has died.


On Sunday morning, 7th August, Kevin Taylor, Principal of Taylor Cullity Lethlean, Landscape Architects, Designers and community consultation specialists, Adelaide and Melbourne, was killed instantly in a vehicle crash in Darwin.


He was 57.


His passing is mourned by many, many friends all over the world who valued his quiet brilliance, his talent and design skills, his compassion and his love for his friends, colleagues and family.


Kevin was one of the brightest students I ever had the blessing to teach.


As an undergraduate in architecture at what was then the S.A. Institute of Technology, in 1977 he produced a stunningly radical and perceptive final-year thesis on “Ecological Awareness and the Practice of Architecture”, co-supervised by me and Doug Swanson, with remote advice from environmental activist Strider of Humpty Doo.


As the submission deadline approached, Doug and I were terrified that he was too bright — and the thesis too radical — for the dusty academics at SAIT. They’d either fail him or give him the medal.


They gave him the medal and he went on to work in architecture with David Yencken at Merchant Builders in Melbourne, to teach at RMIT, to become a landscape architect, to found an award-winning firm, father two great children (now adults) — Emily and Danae — and to find in his second wife, artist Kate Cullity, a soulmate and partner in both his personal and professional life.


Those of us who knew him and love him are devastated by this tragic news.


We share our grief with Kate and her family, Emily and Danae, their mother, his brother, his sister, his step-brother, his extended family, his business partner, Perry Lethlean, many professional colleagues and numerous clients and all the staff of Taylor Cullity Lethlean in Adelaide and Melbourne who respected and loved him so dearly.


Tribute from the Planning Institute of Australia


For a beautiful tribute from the Planning Institute of Australia, go to:


Funeral   arrangements


Kevin’s funeral will be held on Thursday 18 August at 9:30 am for 10 am in Adelaide Town Hall,   128 King William Street.


For details, see:


Vale Kevin Taylor.


Kevin Taylor