By Rama Gaind
PS News Books
Heart of Stone: Justice for Azaria
By Michael Chamberlain (New Holland, $35.00, hardcover, 444 pages)
Use of the word tragedy is a misnomer when it comes to describing what the Chamberlain family has had to endure after the death of baby Azaria on 17 August 1980.
Now that the Northern Territory has issued a death certificate confirming Azaria was taken by a dingo, it shows that the family was the victim, not the perpetrator of a horrifying cataclysm—though opinions will differ.
In Heart of Stone Michael Chamberlain details the events leading up to and after his daughter’s untimely death at Ayers Rock (renamed Uluru).
For him, this book “is about getting justice for a family, full circle. It is about the impossible mission driven this time by me, against all odds; to open the fourth inquest and the truth, backed by the law, declaring that a dingo killed Azaria.”
For more than three decades, the story of Lindy and Michael Chamberlain and Azaria has played out through several court cases and inquests, imprisonment, cost millions of dollars, innumerable books and magazine articles, scores of television programs and Hollywood even produced a film, Evil Angels (1988).
The former pastor has suffered public antagonism and skepticism. Drawing deeply from memory that’s anchored explicitly by documentation, this volume is more than an autobiographical recount: it’s investigative because giving “attention to detail assists me in closure”.
In a comprehensive, methodical and emotional account—angry at the government and people of the NT and the media—he writes of the tragic moments, the heartache and relives the pain of a ‘gross miscarriage of justice’.
Michael does not shy away from discussing contentious themes such as problems created by authorities and wasting resources, people being driven by prejudice, political interference and “obstructing or skewing justice”.
“My task is to communicate the layers of meaning that expose error and enhance truth from the inside, looking out.”
Edition 325, 7 August 2012
To find out more about Rama Gaind click here.