Mark Tedeschi AM, QC
Australian Barrister, law professor, photographer and author
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Mark Tedeschi AM QC, is a barrister and Senior Crown Prosecutor for NSW. As a prosecutor he has worked for the last 30 years on numerous high-profile trials in NSW, including the well-known backpacker murders by Ivan Milat and the murder of heart surgeon Victor Chang. He has also won numerous awards for his photography and has been featured in galleries and collections throughout the world. Mark is also the author of three true crime books: “Eugenia”, “Kidnapped” and “Murder at Myall Creek – the trial that defined a nation”. Mark’s family comes from Torino and Verona. His grandmother, Rosina Tedeschi, was a popular lecturer in Italian at Sydney University, while his father, Roberto Tedeschi, was a successful accountant and travel agent.
In November, Mark will speak on his latest book “Murder at Myall Creek – the trial that defined a nation”, as well as his Italian family background.
In 1838 one of the most extraordinary criminal trials in the history of Australia occurred when 11 white men were charged with the murder of 28 aboriginal men women and children at Myall Creek in northern NSW. Today we would call it a war crimes trial, but in those days the whole of European society in the colony of New South Wales was firmly against the prosecution. The prosecutor, John Hubert Plunkett, was determined to make this case an example of how the law treats everyone equally. He had been the victim of discrimination and persecution in his native Ireland until arriving in Sydney to become the Solicitor General and then Attorney General of New South Wales. This trial pitted his legal and advocacy skills against the combined forces of the wealthy landowners, the military, the newspapers, and even the convicts – in fact the vast majority of the population. Would John Plunkett be able to convince 12 men on the jury to convict the perpetrators of a terrible massacre of aboriginal people? This trial was indeed the trial that defined a nation. Apart from his role in this trial, John Plunkett as Attorney General was responsible for establishing some of the basic civil rights, which we still cherish in Australia, and yet his crucial role is hardly known today.