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On this day …….. 29th of October 1982

Lindy Chamberlain convicted of the murdering her baby at Ayers Rock.

Uluru, formerly Ayers Rock, is a huge monolith in central Australia. It has long been a popular tourist destination, but gained a new notoriety on the night of 17 August 1980, when two-month-old Azaria Chamberlain went missing from the nearby camping ground. When baby Azaria disappeared, her mother Lindy claimed that a dingo had stolen her baby. No trace of the child was ever found, although her bloodstained clothes were found a week later by another tourist. At the first inquest into her death, commencing in February 1981, it was found that the likely cause of Azaria’s disappearance was a dingo attack. Police and prosecutors, unhappy with this judgement, moved for a second inquest which began on 13 September 1981. This time, the new finding was made that Azaria had been killed with a pair of scissors and held by a small adult hand until she stopped bleeding. Lindy Chamberlain was convicted of murder on 29 October 1982, and her husband Michael was found guilty of being an accessory. Lindy Chamberlain’s acquittal came four years later when a matinee jacket worn by Azaria was found partially buried in a dingo’s lair at Ayers Rock. New evidence was presented showing that earlier methods of testing evidence had been unreliable, and no conviction could be made on those grounds. Both Chamberlains were officially pardoned, Lindy was released, and eventually awarded AU$1.3 million in compensation for wrongful imprisonment.

On this day …….. 26th of October 1985

Uluru, in central Australia, is an inselberg, often referred to as the second largest monolith in the world, second only to Mt Augustus which is also in Australia. Also known as Ayers Rock, it was named after the former Premier of South Australia, Sir Henry Ayers by William Gosse, of the South Australian Survey Department, who became the first European explorer to see Ayers Rock. Gosse sighted Ayers Rock on 18 July 1873, recording that, “This rock is certainly the most wonderful natural feature I have ever seen”. The indigenous people of central Australia have known about the feature for many thousands of years. Uluru, which is believed to mean either ‘Great pebble’ or ‘Meeting place’, is sacred to the Aborigines. On 26 October 1985, ownership of Uluru was returned to the local Pitjantjatjara Aborigines. One of the conditions was that the Anangu would lease it back to the National Parks and Wildlife for 99 years and that it would be jointly managed.

 

On this day …….. 13th September 1982

Uluru, formerly Ayers Rock, is a huge monolith in central Australia. It has long been a popular tourist destination, but gained a new notoriety on the night of 17 August 1980, when two-month-old Azaria Chamberlain went missing from the nearby camping ground. When baby Azaria disappeared, her mother Lindy claimed that a dingo had stolen her baby. No trace of the child was ever found, although her bloodstained clothes were found a week later by another tourist. At the first inquest into her death, commencing in February 1981, it was found that the likely cause of Azaria’s disappearance was a dingo attack. Police and prosecutors, unhappy with this judgement, moved for a second inquest which began on 13 September 1981. This time, the new finding was made that Azaria had been killed with a pair of scissors and held by a small adult hand until she stopped bleeding. Lindy Chamberlain was convicted of murder on 29 October 1982, and her husband Michael was found guilty of being an accessory. Lindy Chamberlain’s acquittal came several years later when a British tourist fell to his death from the Rock. When his body was finally located 8 days later amid an area full of dingo lairs, Azaria Chamberlain’s missing jacket was also found. New evidence was presented showing that the methods of testing previous evidence had been unreliable, and no conviction could be made on those grounds. Both Chamberlains were officially pardoned, Lindy was released, and eventually awarded AU$1.3 million in compensation for wrongful imprisonment.

 

On this day …….. 7th of August 1928

Dingo hunter Frederick Brooks is killed, sparking the Coniston Massacre of Australian Aborigines.

Coniston Station is a large cattle station in central Australia, about 300 km northwest of Alice Springs. Covering 2178 sq km, it is bordered by the Tanami Desert to the west. The cattle station was founded by pastoralist Randall Stafford in 1923 and named after a town in his native England. On 7 August 1928 the body of white dingo hunter, Frederick Brooks, was found on the property. Traditional aboriginal weapons lay nearby, implicating the local indigenous people. Constable William Murray, officer in charge at Barrow Creek, investigated and came to the conclusion that the killing had been done by members of the Warlpiri, Anmatyerre and Kaytetye people. Within a few days, Constable Murray began to take matters of ‘white justice’ into his own hands, instigating a series of revenge killings that came to be known as the Coniston Massacre. This was the last known massacre of Australian Aborigines. Between 14 and 30 August, Murray shot at least 17 members of the Aboriginal tribes he believed were responsible, and claimed his actions were made in self-defence and that each tribal member he had killed was in possession of some item belonging to Brooks. Murray was never punished for his actions. On the contrary, the Board of Enquiry members were selected to maximise damage-control. It was believed at the time that Murray’s actions were appropriate for the circumstances. The Central Land Council organised the seventy-fifth anniversary of the massacre, commemorated near Yuendumu on 24 September 2003.

 

On this day ………… 25th February 1834

It is also generally accepted that the Dutch were disinclined to colonise Australia, and that the first European settlement occurred with the convicts, marines and officers of the First Fleet. This, however, is not entirely the case. The first prisoners in Australia were Dutch seamen Wouter Loos and Jan Pellegrimsz de Beye who were abandoned on the mainland for their part in the murders of the passengers of the wrecked ship ‘Batavia’ in June 1629. This was not the only time that Dutch made Australia their home. It is estimated that, between 1629 and 1727, around 300 Dutch passengers and crew linked to the Dutch East India company occupied parts of Western Australia as a result of the many shipwrecks which occurred off the coast of what was then known as “New Holland”. On 25 February 1834, English newspaper ‘The Leeds Mercury’ reported on the findings of a secret English expedition to Australia which had taken place in 1832. Led by Lieutenant Nixon, the expedition claimed to have discovered a settlement of several hundred Europeans who were descendants of Dutch survivors from shipwrecks between the mid 1600s and early 1700s, such as the Vergulde Draeck (1656), the Concordia (1708), the Zuytdorp (1712), and the Zeewijck (1727). The survivors were said to have established a colony some 1500 km from the coast, in central Australia’s Palm Valley. However, although Palm Valley exists as a desert oasis in the Red Centre, no evidence of, or artifacts from, such a colony have ever been located.

 

 

On this day ………… 18th February 1874

Explorer Ernest Giles was born on the 7th of July 1835 in England. He emigrated to Australia in 1850 and was employed at various cattle and sheep stations, allowing him to develop good bush skills. Giles made several expeditions into the Australian desert. The first, lasting four months, commenced in August 1872 and resulted in the discovery of an unusual oasis in the desert, the Glen of Palms, now called Palm Valley, as well as Gosse’s Bluff. On this first journey he discovered Lake Amadeus, a huge saltpan in central Australia, which he named after the King of Spain, and he sighted the Olgas, named after the king’s wife. Giles commenced his next expedition in August 1873. On this expedition, he was able to approach closer to the Olgas, but his attempts to continue further west were thwarted by interminable sand, dust, biting ants and lack of water. After a two month recovery period at Fort Mueller, Giles set out north towards the Rawlinson Range, from which he again tried to penetrate westwards. On the 18th February 1874, he was thrown by one of his horses and dragged along, only narrowly escaping being killed.

On this day …….. 29th of October 1982

Lindy Chamberlain convicted of the murdering her baby at Ayers Rock.

Uluru, formerly Ayers Rock, is a huge monolith in central Australia. It has long been a popular tourist destination, but gained a new notoriety on the night of 17 August 1980, when two-month-old Azaria Chamberlain went missing from the nearby camping ground. When baby Azaria disappeared, her mother Lindy claimed that a dingo had stolen her baby. No trace of the child was ever found, although her bloodstained clothes were found a week later by another tourist. At the first inquest into her death, commencing in February 1981, it was found that the likely cause of Azaria’s disappearance was a dingo attack. Police and prosecutors, unhappy with this judgement, moved for a second inquest which began on 13 September 1981. This time, the new finding was made that Azaria had been killed with a pair of scissors and held by a small adult hand until she stopped bleeding. Lindy Chamberlain was convicted of murder on 29 October 1982, and her husband Michael was found guilty of being an accessory. Lindy Chamberlain’s acquittal came four years later when a matinee jacket worn by Azaria was found partially buried in a dingo’s lair at Ayers Rock. New evidence was presented showing that earlier methods of testing evidence had been unreliable, and no conviction could be made on those grounds. Both Chamberlains were officially pardoned, Lindy was released, and eventually awarded AU$1.3 million in compensation for wrongful imprisonment.

On this day …….. 26th of October 1985

Uluru, in central Australia, is an inselberg, often referred to as the second largest monolith in the world, second only to Mt Augustus which is also in Australia. Also known as Ayers Rock, it was named after the former Premier of South Australia, Sir Henry Ayers by William Gosse, of the South Australian Survey Department, who became the first European explorer to see Ayers Rock. Gosse sighted Ayers Rock on 18 July 1873, recording that, “This rock is certainly the most wonderful natural feature I have ever seen”. The indigenous people of central Australia have known about the feature for many thousands of years. Uluru, which is believed to mean either ‘Great pebble’ or ‘Meeting place’, is sacred to the Aborigines. On 26 October 1985, ownership of Uluru was returned to the local Pitjantjatjara Aborigines. One of the conditions was that the Anangu would lease it back to the National Parks and Wildlife for 99 years and that it would be jointly managed.

 

On this day …….. 13th September 1982

Uluru, formerly Ayers Rock, is a huge monolith in central Australia. It has long been a popular tourist destination, but gained a new notoriety on the night of 17 August 1980, when two-month-old Azaria Chamberlain went missing from the nearby camping ground. When baby Azaria disappeared, her mother Lindy claimed that a dingo had stolen her baby. No trace of the child was ever found, although her bloodstained clothes were found a week later by another tourist. At the first inquest into her death, commencing in February 1981, it was found that the likely cause of Azaria’s disappearance was a dingo attack. Police and prosecutors, unhappy with this judgement, moved for a second inquest which began on 13 September 1981. This time, the new finding was made that Azaria had been killed with a pair of scissors and held by a small adult hand until she stopped bleeding. Lindy Chamberlain was convicted of murder on 29 October 1982, and her husband Michael was found guilty of being an accessory. Lindy Chamberlain’s acquittal came several years later when a British tourist fell to his death from the Rock. When his body was finally located 8 days later amid an area full of dingo lairs, Azaria Chamberlain’s missing jacket was also found. New evidence was presented showing that the methods of testing previous evidence had been unreliable, and no conviction could be made on those grounds. Both Chamberlains were officially pardoned, Lindy was released, and eventually awarded AU$1.3 million in compensation for wrongful imprisonment.

 

On this day …….. 7th of August 1928

Dingo hunter Frederick Brooks is killed, sparking the Coniston Massacre of Australian Aborigines.

Coniston Station is a large cattle station in central Australia, about 300 km northwest of Alice Springs. Covering 2178 sq km, it is bordered by the Tanami Desert to the west. The cattle station was founded by pastoralist Randall Stafford in 1923 and named after a town in his native England. On 7 August 1928 the body of white dingo hunter, Frederick Brooks, was found on the property. Traditional aboriginal weapons lay nearby, implicating the local indigenous people. Constable William Murray, officer in charge at Barrow Creek, investigated and came to the conclusion that the killing had been done by members of the Warlpiri, Anmatyerre and Kaytetye people. Within a few days, Constable Murray began to take matters of ‘white justice’ into his own hands, instigating a series of revenge killings that came to be known as the Coniston Massacre. This was the last known massacre of Australian Aborigines. Between 14 and 30 August, Murray shot at least 17 members of the Aboriginal tribes he believed were responsible, and claimed his actions were made in self-defence and that each tribal member he had killed was in possession of some item belonging to Brooks. Murray was never punished for his actions. On the contrary, the Board of Enquiry members were selected to maximise damage-control. It was believed at the time that Murray’s actions were appropriate for the circumstances. The Central Land Council organised the seventy-fifth anniversary of the massacre, commemorated near Yuendumu on 24 September 2003.

 

On this day ………… 25th February 1834

It is also generally accepted that the Dutch were disinclined to colonise Australia, and that the first European settlement occurred with the convicts, marines and officers of the First Fleet. This, however, is not entirely the case. The first prisoners in Australia were Dutch seamen Wouter Loos and Jan Pellegrimsz de Beye who were abandoned on the mainland for their part in the murders of the passengers of the wrecked ship ‘Batavia’ in June 1629. This was not the only time that Dutch made Australia their home. It is estimated that, between 1629 and 1727, around 300 Dutch passengers and crew linked to the Dutch East India company occupied parts of Western Australia as a result of the many shipwrecks which occurred off the coast of what was then known as “New Holland”. On 25 February 1834, English newspaper ‘The Leeds Mercury’ reported on the findings of a secret English expedition to Australia which had taken place in 1832. Led by Lieutenant Nixon, the expedition claimed to have discovered a settlement of several hundred Europeans who were descendants of Dutch survivors from shipwrecks between the mid 1600s and early 1700s, such as the Vergulde Draeck (1656), the Concordia (1708), the Zuytdorp (1712), and the Zeewijck (1727). The survivors were said to have established a colony some 1500 km from the coast, in central Australia’s Palm Valley. However, although Palm Valley exists as a desert oasis in the Red Centre, no evidence of, or artifacts from, such a colony have ever been located.

 

 

On this day ………… 18th February 1874

Explorer Ernest Giles was born on the 7th of July 1835 in England. He emigrated to Australia in 1850 and was employed at various cattle and sheep stations, allowing him to develop good bush skills. Giles made several expeditions into the Australian desert. The first, lasting four months, commenced in August 1872 and resulted in the discovery of an unusual oasis in the desert, the Glen of Palms, now called Palm Valley, as well as Gosse’s Bluff. On this first journey he discovered Lake Amadeus, a huge saltpan in central Australia, which he named after the King of Spain, and he sighted the Olgas, named after the king’s wife. Giles commenced his next expedition in August 1873. On this expedition, he was able to approach closer to the Olgas, but his attempts to continue further west were thwarted by interminable sand, dust, biting ants and lack of water. After a two month recovery period at Fort Mueller, Giles set out north towards the Rawlinson Range, from which he again tried to penetrate westwards. On the 18th February 1874, he was thrown by one of his horses and dragged along, only narrowly escaping being killed.