Lindy Chamberlain-Creighton, her ex-husband Michael Chamberlain and her son Aiden Chamberlain were all on hand to witness Tuesday’s historic verdict, which came after a 32-year fight by the Chamberlains to have Azaria’s cause of death formally changed from “unknown”.
A Northern Territory coroner, Elizabeth Morris, said there was enough evidence to show a dingo had killed nine-week-old Azaria while on a camping trip at Uluru.
“The cause of her death was as the result of being attacked and taken by a dingo,” Ms Morris said.
“I am so sorry for your loss,” said Ms Morris, fighting back tears. “Time does not remove the pain and sadness of the death of a child.”
The courtroom erupted into applause following the finding, which came after the fourth coronial inquest into the death of Azaria was held earlier this year.
After the findings were announced, Ms Chamberlain-Creighton hugged her legal counsel, Stuart Tipple, and her son Aiden, who was also present on the fateful camping trip in 1980.
She told media outside court she was “relieved and delighted” she had come to the end of a long saga.
Ms Chamberlain, as she was known at the time, was sentenced to life in prison in 1982 for murdering Azaria, and Michael Chamberlain was given a suspended sentence for being an accessory after the fact.
They were both exonerated in a 1987 royal commission.
“No longer will Australia be able to say that dingoes are not dangerous and will only attack if provoked,” said Ms Chamberlain-Creighton outside court on Tuesday.
“We live in a beautiful country but it is dangerous and we’d ask all Australians to be aware of this and take appropriate precautions.”
Michael Chamberlain told awaiting media it had been a terrifying battle that had taken too long.
“Today, I heard Coroner Morris speak for the dead on behalf of the living,” Mr Chamberlain said.
He recalled being told by a senior judicial officer after the previous inquest in 1995, which delivered an open verdict, that he would never get justice in the Northern Territory.
“Well, the truth is out,” he said.
He thanked the media for its “reporting based on facts” and the family’s supporters throughout the ordeal.
Aiden Chamberlain, the brother of Azaria, said he felt “very good” after the coroner’s announcement.
Azaria’s family then made their way a short distance to Births, Deaths and Marriages NT, where they were given a new death certificate, showing the baby died from a dingo attack.
“Ladies and gentlemen, sometimes justice takes 32 years, but here it is and let me tell you it is worth the effort,” said Mr Tipple.
A beaming Mr Chamberlain, and then his ex-wife Ms Chamberlain-Creighton each held up the new death certificate.
Ms Chamberlain-Creighton she would not be making further comments as she was appearing on Tuesday night on a TV current affairs show.