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Murder at Myall Creek – The Trial that Defined a Nation

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History House, 133 Macquarie St Sydney

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John Hubert Plunkett was the Attorney General of New South Wales between 1836 and 1856. His most controversial role was as the prosecutor of those responsible for the Myall Creek massacre in northern New South Wales in 1838. This was Plunkett’s greatest test, as it pitted his forensic brilliance and idealism against the combined forces of the squatters (free settlers who had illegally invaded, taken over and cleared for grazing Aboriginal lands outside the areas of official government grants), the military, most of the newspapers, and even the convict population. He fought valiantly to punish those responsible for one of the worst known atrocities against the Aboriginal inhabitants of early Australia. The trials of the perpetrators marked one of the very few times during the colonial period when the law was used as an instrument of justice in support of Aboriginal Australians.

Mark Tedeschi AM QC is the Senior Crown Prosecutor for New South Wales. Over the last 30 years he has prosecuted many of the most prominent criminal trials in New South Wales. He is the head of Chambers of the New South Wales Crown Prosecutors and the President of the Australian Association of Crown Prosecutors. He is a visiting Professor at the University of Wollongong, a Director on the Board of the National Art School, and a Trustee of Sydney Grammar School. This is his third true crime book. The other two, both published by Simon & Schuster Australia, are: ‘Eugenia: a true story of adversity, tragedy, crime and courage’, published in 2012 and ‘Kidnapped: the crime that shocked the nation’ published in 2015.

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History House, 133 Macquarie St Sydney

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