February 13, 2023

Adventist Attorney Recognized in Australia Day Honors List

Stuart Tipple was heavily involved in the defense team of the Azaria Chamberlain case.

Tracey Bridcutt, Adventist Record, and Adventist Review
Stuart and Cherie Tipple. Stuart was recognized in the 2023 Australia Day Honors List for his service to the law. [Photo: Adventist Record]

Seventh-day Adventist attorney Stuart Tipple was recognized in the 2023 Australia Day Honors List. Tipple, of Terrigal, Central Coast, New South Wales, was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) for his service to the law.

“I feel very honored and humbled not just by receiving the award but in receiving the many messages of congratulations and support,” he said.

Tipple was heavily involved in the Azaria Chamberlain case as a member of the legal defense team, fighting for justice for Michael Chamberlain and Lindy Chamberlain-Creighton through trials, appeals, and inquests. He was also involved in the Royal Commission into the convictions of the Chamberlains in 1986.

An attorney since 1978, Tipple has used his legal expertise and experience to help others, including as a volunteer for the Salvation Army’s “Wills Promotion Day” and as a legal advisor for Legacy New South Wales and the War Widows Guild of New South Wales.

He has also supported the Adventist Church in a number of capacities, including as a volunteer on humanitarian missions and as a board member for the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA), the Sydney Adventist Hospital, and Central Coast Adventist School.

In 2012, Tipple was awarded the President’s Medal from the NSW Law Society “in recognition of significant personal and professional contributions made to the betterment of law and justice by a NSW solicitor.”

“The Chamberlain case was a very significant part of my career, but I received just as much satisfaction from smaller cases and in particular in helping people who couldn’t afford legal representation achieve just results,” Tipple said.

“The Chamberlain case helped highlight difficulties in receiving a fair trial in high profile and widely reported cases. More recent cases have demonstrated that the problems highlighted have not been addressed.”

Tipple is a member of Forresters Beach Adventist church. He is married to Cherie, and they have two sons and two grandchildren.

About the Chamberlain Case

Azaria Chamberlain was a nine-week-old baby girl killed by a dingo on the night of August 17, 1980, during a family camping trip in the Northern Territory. Her body was never found. Her Seventh-day Adventist parents reported that she had been taken from their tent by a dingo. However, Lindy was tried for murder and spent more than three years in prison. Michael was also put in jail for some time.

The Chamberlain trial was highly publicized. Given that most of the evidence presented in the case against Lindy Chamberlain was later rejected, the case is now used as an example of how media and bias can adversely affect a trial. Public and media opinion during the trial included allegations that the Seventh-day Adventist Church was a cult that killed infants as part of bizarre religious ceremonies.

Lindy was released only after Azaria’s jacket was found near a dingo lair and new inquests were opened. In 2012, 32 years after Azaria’s death, the Chamberlains’ version of events was officially supported by a coroner.

The original version of this story was posted by Adventist Record.