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National Museum of Australia

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White dress worn by Lindy Chamberlain at the first inquest into the death of Azaria Chamberlain, 1980

1993.0107.0008

White dress worn by Lindy Chamberlain at the first inquest into the death of Azaria Chamberlain, 1980

Object information

Description

Lindy Chamberlain wore this dress at the inquest into her daughter Azaria's death. It appeared in numerous press photographs, including those taken of Lindy and Michael Chamberlain arriving at Darwin airport. Lindy's clothing was closely scrutinised during the inquest and it was noted that people in the southern parts of Australia judged her clothing as being too skimpy or informal to be appropriate to wear to court. By contrast, in the more informal north, her clothing was seen as being too dressy.

Physical description

Off white dress with white crocheted sections around the collar, a horizontal band at the chest and at the waist and at the very base of the dress. The dress has a zipper at the back and a black label sewn at the back inside which reads in part, '...SUPERSET...'

Statement of significance

The Lindy Chamberlain-Creighton collection no. 1 contains items relating to events surrounding the death of Azaria Chamberlain. This includes items of clothing worn by Michael and Lindy Chamberlain, props from the film 'Evil Angels' and gifts sent to Lindy and other objects relating to her time in prison.

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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