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National Museum of Australia

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Letter to Veronica O'Leary regarding drawings she made at the 1982 trial of Michael and Lindy Chamberlain.

AR00259.001

Letter to Veronica O'Leary regarding drawings she made at the 1982 trial of Michael and Lindy Chamberlain.

Object information

Physical description

An envelope and a handwritten letter on two pieces of white A5 paper mounted on black card. Handwritten text on the letter begins 'Dear Miss O'Leary...'. Handwritten text on the envelope begins ' Miss Veronica O'Leary...'.

Statement of significance

The Veronica O'Leary collection consists of drawings made during the criminal trial of Lindy and Michael Chamberlain in Darwin in 1982. Veronica O'Leary was an artist and teacher living in Darwin who applied for the position of courtroom artist for the Australian Broadcasting Commission (now the Australian Broadcasting Corporation). The ABC paid for the rights to broadcast the drawings as part of the television news coverage of the events in court.

The disappearance of Azaria Chantel Loren Chamberlain (11 June - 17 August 1980) has become one of the most infamous events in contemporary Australian history. The explanation of her disappearance, that she was prey to a dingo at Ayers Rock (now Uluru), was soon treated with suspicion by the general public. After two coronial inquests, Lindy Chamberlain was convicted of murder and imprisoned for over three years, until mounting evidence forced a royal commission that ultimately resulted in the exoneration of Lindy and Michael Chamberlain by the Supreme Court of Darwin. The National Museum holds the largest public collection of material culture relating to the case.

Object information

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