Born in Christchurch, New Zealand, towards the end of the Second World War in 1944, Michael Leigh Chamberlain was the eldest son of Ivan and Greta Chamberlain. He was raised on a farm south of Christchurch on the banks of the Selwyn River, which weaves its way from the Southern Alps down to the Pacific Ocean. It was here that he developed a passion for the outdoors - spending his spare time fishing, hunting and working on the family farm.

As a child Michael was plagued with illness and through the care and support of his family he came through well. His father served in World War II for the Royal New Zealand Airforce as a warrant officer. He was a Methodist trustee of the local Ellesmere Parish. That church building has since been relocated to Ferrymead in Christchurch representing early church of Canterbury. The church was built by Michael's great-grandfather, William Chamberlain. His mother was a devout Baptist who converted to Seventh-day Adventism while he was a teenager. She became the first woman in the South New Zealand Conference of the Adventist Church to be elected to the Conference's Executive Committee. Michael's secondary years where spent at Lincoln High School where he was the captain for the Cricket 1st XI and a member of the Rugby Union 1st XV. He also played in the Canterbury under 18 Tennis championships. His last year of secondary school was at Christchurch Boys' High School. At the age of twenty-one Michael himself became a Seventh-day Adventist while studying at the University of Canterbury. His spiritual journey led him to accept a call to ministry, for which he went to Avondale College, the South Pacific Seventh-day Adventist tertiary college in Cooranbong, New South Wales, Australia.

Towards the end of his college years in 1968 he married Alice Lynne (Lindy) Murchison. After graduating in 1969 with a B.A. in Theology , they set off to Tasmania, and he commenced his journey as a Seventh-day Adventist minister.

In 1974 Michael made his first debut in local media, a radio station at Scotsdale, Tasmania. He produced a number of scripts which were immediately snapped up by the General Conference of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in North America. Again, in 1977 through to 1980, in Innisfail and Mount Isa he produced and presented a radio program called The Good Life. His work was respected for its lively and informed commentary on lifestyle and culture throughout far north Queensland. He became a columnist for The Cairns Post during this time under the same banner.


Lindy and Michael's traumatic loss of their daughter Azaria on the 17th of August 1980 changed their lives forever. It is ironic that after experiencing the positive and promotional side of the media that he would now be subjected to the dark side of reporting and be a victim of media manipulation and systemic bureaucratic corruption from the Northern Territory. The subsequent inquiries, trials and ultimate royal commission saw Michael and his family face intense public scrutiny and the virtual ruination of their reputations.

In 1982 Lindy gave birth to Kahlia, their fourth child, in the Darwin prison. Two weeks later Michael graduated from a Master of Arts through Andrews University, Michigan. Since exoneration in 1988, following the Royal Commission of 1986 and 1987 Michael and Lindy have tried to live private lives. In 1990 the couples' marriage fell apart and they both went their separate ways.

Michael fell in love and married Ingrid Bergner in 1994, and they became proud parents to daughter Zahra in June 1996.

In 1997 Michael produced his first book, Cooranbong: First Town in Lake Macquarie. Following this publication Michael was invited to commence a PhD in Education, in 1998, at School of Education, University of Newcastle. In 1999 he wrote his second book, Beyond Azaria: Black Light White Light published by Information Australia. Michael graduated from his PhD in 2002 as well as from a Bachelor of Teaching.

Michael ran as a Liberal party candidate for New South Wales State Parliament in 2003, achieving a 5.2 percent swing against the incumbent Lake Macquarie member, Geoff Hunter. In September 2003 he accepted a contract with the NSW Department of Education and Training teaching English at an Aboriginal high school in the north west of New South Wales and later taught in Gosford, NSW from 2006 until 2008.

Michael maintains an active interest in politics, law, media ethics, writing and research. In 2008 he retired from full time teaching.