Azaria Chantel Loren Chamberlain
11 June 1980 – 17 August 1980
This is the story of a little girl who lived, and breathed,
and loved, and was loved. She was part of me.
She grew within my body and when she died, part of me died,
and nothing will ever alter that fact.
This is her story, and mine.
On the evening of Sunday, 17 August 1980 Lindy Chamberlain was an innocent, 32 year old mother of two boys, and a girl – Aidan, 6, Reagan, 4, and nine-week-and-four-day-old Azaria. Lindy wanted all of her children to have names with strong meanings, choosing Azaria because the book of baby names she found it in said it meant ‘Blessed of God’. It was exactly how she felt finally getting the daughter she had so badly wanted.
The family was staying in the public campground at Ayers Rock (now Uluru). Before the night was over her daughter was to disappear from the tent where she was sleeping. Lindy had seen a dingo coming out of the tent, and when she checked on her daughter, found her gone. There were dingo prints leading into the cold desert night and blood in the tent. But by morning, people who had not been with Lindy comforting her, or searching on that night, were already spreading wild, untrue rumours. Of sacrifice, murder, dingoes not being capable, and of weird behaviour.
There was never a question of the events and evidence on the part of the eyewitnesses – none of whom had met the Chamberlains before – or the rangers, trackers, and police first on the scene. It was a natural tragedy that the head Ranger had warned his government of some time earlier. The first Coroner’s Inquest confirmed that a dingo had killed Azaria. That verdict was later overturned, and Lindy was to spend the next seven years living a nightmare – nearly three of them in prison – before finally managing to prove her innocence, and receiving complete exoneration – a first for Australian justice.