Michael Chamberlain

Michael Chamberlain
Born(1944-02-27)27 February 1944
Christchurch, New Zealand
Died9 January 2017(2017-01-09) (aged 72)
Gosford, New South Wales, Australia
OccupationPastor, teacher, writer
EducationPhD University of Newcastle
BTeach Avondale College
MA Andrews University
BA Avondale College
Notable worksBeyond Azaria / Michael Chamberlain, Lowell Tarling (1999, ISBN 1-86350-277-7)
SpouseLindy Murchison (m. 1968; div. 1991)
Ingrid Bergner (m. 1994–2017)
ChildrenAidan (born 1973)
Reagan (born 1976)
Azaria (June–August 1980)
Kahlia (born 1982)
Zahra (born 1996)

Michael Leigh Chamberlain (27 February 1944 – 9 January 2017) was a New Zealand writer, teacher and pastor falsely implicated in the August 1980 death of his missing daughter Azaria, which was later demonstrated to be the result of a dingo attack while the family was camping near Uluru (then usually called Ayers Rock) in the Northern Territory, Australia. Chamberlain's then-wife Lindy was falsely convicted of the baby's murder in 1982 and he was convicted of being an accessory after the fact.[1] The findings of a 1987 royal commission ultimately exonerated the couple, but not before they were subjected to sensationalist reporting and intense public scrutiny.[2][3]

Early life and pastoral career

Chamberlain was born in Christchurch, New Zealand, the eldest son of Ivan and Greta Chamberlain.[2] His father served as a warrant officer in the Royal New Zealand Air Force during World War II, while his mother was involved with the administration of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in southern New Zealand.[2]

Educated at Lincoln High School and Christchurch Boys' High School, Chamberlain commenced studies at the University of Canterbury but after converting to the Seventh-day Adventist Church in 1965, he left and migrated to Australia.[2][4] He subsequently studied at Avondale College in Cooranbong and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts (Theology) degree in 1969.[2] He married Lindy Murchison the same year, after meeting her in 1968.[4]

After graduating, Chamberlain worked as a Seventh-day Adventist minister in Tasmania, where Lindy Chamberlain gave birth to two children—Aidan (born 1973) and Regan (born 1976).[2] In 1977 the family moved to Queensland, where Chamberlain produced and presented a radio program called The Good Life, a commentary on lifestyle and culture throughout the northern parts of the state.[2] The Chamberlains' third child, daughter Azaria, was born in Mount Isa on 11 June 1980.[3]

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