For Senior Crown Prosecutor Mark Tedeschi AM QC, writing is a form of meditation that wards off vicarious trauma. His latest book sheds light on a hero all lawyers should know about.
Mark Tedeschi AM QC this year marks 20 years as the Senior Crown Prosecutor in NSW. He proudly admits he has the best legal job in NSW. “It’s fascinating, challenging, varied and has high social value,” he says.
Tedeschi has successfully prosecuted many killers, including two who shot dead heart surgeon Victor Chang in 1991, Ivan Milat for the backpacker murders in the 1990s, Phuong Ngo for Australia’s first political assassination in which he killed rival John Newman in 1994, and, in 2016, Adeel Kahn for the deaths of three in the 2014 Rozelle fire, Amirah Droudis for the murder of the ex-wife of Man Haron Monis, and Dr Brian Cricket for the murder of his wife.
The workload is huge, yet Tedeschi has found time to research and write his third non-fiction book, Murder at Myall Creek: the Trial that Defined a Nation, about Australia’s longest-serving Attorney-General, John Hubert Plunkett, and the trials of those responsible for the massacre of 28 Aboriginal men, women and children in 1838.
“When I researched the case, I felt that John Hubert Plunkett deserved to be viewed as one of the greats of Australian colonial history and yet he is virtually unknown,” Tedeschi says.
“Plunkett didn’t care for fame or glory. He didn’t care what people thought about him. He didn’t care what history would say about him. All he cared about was trying to achieve a better justice system, and to make sure NSW didn’t go down the same path as his native Ireland, which for centuries had been beset with discrimination, persecution and injustices, particularly on religious grounds.”