Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Chamberlain: Nation, Law, Memory

NSW: Registrations are now open for this special one-day symposium at Macquarie University on Sunday 14 August 2005.

"Lindy Chamberlain: Nation, Law, Memory" coincides with the 25th anniversary of the disappearance of Azaria Chamberlain.

The event has the support and participation of our guest of honour, Lindy Chamberlain-Creighton, and includes keynote addresses by Lindy Chamberlain-Creighton, John Bryson, Professor Adrian Howe and Professor Ann Curthoys.

Book early as seating is strictly limited.

Katherine Biber (co-convenor, with Deborah Staines and Michelle Arrow).

Dr Katherine Biber
Division of Law
Macquarie University
NSW 2109

Ph: +61 2 9850 7039
Fax: +61 2 9850 7686
katherine.biber (at) law.mq.edu.au Photo:

By Dr Katherin Biber posted 21 June 05

The Trial of Lindy Chamberlain

This essay was written in the 1980's, after Lindy Chamberlain had been jailed for the murder of her infant daughter, Azaria, who had been taken by a dingo at Uluru (Ayers Rock). It seeks to expose the ridiculous logic which conspired to put an innocent mother in jail.

"Wadda you guys reckon about this Chamberlain case?" asked Parklands Pete, wiping a grubby sleeve across his mouth and passing the bottle of cheap plonk on.

"Guilty as hell!" roared Troppo, snatching the bottle, gulping greedily, and repeating, "Guilty as hell!"

"Not guilty!" growled their other companion, Dynamite Dave, "Indisputedly innocent! Gissa drink!"

"Tell yez wot," said Pete, who'd always fancied himself high court judge material, "We'll have us a trial right now - Troppo for the proshecushon, Dynamite Dave for the defense, and meself on the bench." (He had already served for many years on the bench, but only for sleeping).

The trial began immediately, with Troppo lurching fiercely into the prosecution case.

Grant me closure - Lindy Chamberlain-Creighton

It sounds like a simple request from the mother of Azaria Chamberlain.

24 years after her daughter disappeared at Uluru, Lindy Chamberlain-Creighton wants the coroner to put a cause on Azaria's death certificate.

Map of Australia
Maps of Ayers Rock, 1980

Photos of the Ayers Rock Area
Lindy and Azaria Chamberlain at Ayers Rock
Chamberlains' car and tent at Ayers Rock
Site where jumpsuit and nappy discovered
Site where matinee jacket discovered (L. N. Smith photo)
Retracing route of dingo tracks at first inquest(Russell McPhederan photo)
Sign warning of dingos

People at Ayers Rock
Greg and Sally Lowe (couple with Chamberlains at time of disappearance)
Frank Cole, killer of Azaria's killer (2005 photo) (?)
Ranger Derek Roff and trackers (Michael Chamberlain photo)

Forensic Evidence
Jumpsuit (tears)
Matinee jacket

Investigators & Scientists
Det. Sgt. Graeme Charlwood (Barry O'Brien photo)
Professor James Cameron
Joy Kuhl
Professor Malcolm Chaikin
Les Smith

Attorneys, Judges, and Coroners
First inquest photo
Justice Trevor Morling
Ian Barker, Queen's Counsel
John Phillips and Andrew Kirkham, attorneys for Chamberlains
Coroner Galvin at Ayer's Rock
Michael & Lindy Chamberlain after inquest

Trial and Sentencing
Chamberlains leaving courthouse on way to prison
Lindy Chamberlain and skeptical juror Yvonne Cain

After the Ordeal
Lindy Chamberlain, Sam Neill, and Meryl Streep discuss movie script
Taking reporters' questions: scene from "A Cry in the Dark" with Sam Neill (Richard Chamberlain) and Meryl Streep (Lindy Chamberlain)
Family photo at Ayers Rock: scene from "A Cry in the Dark"

Lindy Chamberlain-Creighton

On 17 August 1980, while on a family holiday, nine week old Azaria Chamberlain was taken by a dingo from a camping ground near Ayers Rock. After two inquests and a police raid on her house, Lindy Chamberlain was tried and convicted of the murder of her baby daughter. She was sentenced to life in prison with hard labour. While inside and outside the prison, Lindy and thousands of others fought to clear her name. Lindy's fourth child Kahlia Shonell Nikari Chamberlain was born on 17 November 1982 in Darwin Hospital while Lindy was in the custody of Darwin Prison.