This week marks 15 years since former Gold Coast beauty student Schapelle Corby was found guilty of importing 4.2kg of marijuana to Bali in a boogie board bag.
Speaking exclusively to 7NEWS.com.au, Corby said she had made it through “some very hard, dark times” and was thankful to be in Australia now with her family where she is pursuing a new passion.
“Fifteen years and yes it feels it. I’m so thankful to be in Australia,” Corby said, reflecting on the past decade and a half.
“I made it through some very hard, dark times, which I don’t ever forget.”
Corby said she was spending her time in COVID-19 isolation on her new hobby and passion – making epoxy resin art, mostly in the form of clocks.
“I’m with Mum, I’m with family, I’ve updated, revised my book My Story, I’m in Queensland moving forward in life and I’m happy,” Corby said.
The 42 year old has, for the past 15 years, maintained her innocence of the crime for which she served nine years behind bars in Bali and another three on parole.
Meanwhile, the judge who found her guilty and slammed the jail door shut, says he remains sure he made the right decision.
Speaking to 7NEWS.com.au from North Sumatra, where he is now a High Court judge, Judge Linton Sirait said he was unconcerned that Corby maintained her innocence.
“If she argues like that, that’s fine. No problem. However, as the judge, we handle the case and take the decision based on evidence. And I feel very sure,” Judge Sirait said.
May 27 was the day, 15 years ago, that Judge Sirait told Corby to stand and, after hours of reading the verdict, pronounced her guilty of importing marijuana to Bali and sentenced her to 20 years in jail.
Pandemonium broke out as the decision was handed down.
Now, Corby is back living in Queensland, making, ‘eco epoxy resin art’ wall clocks.
Her Indonesian boyfriend remains in Bali, although the pair have met up elsewhere in Asia.
Her sister Mercedes, who lived in Bali throughout the controversial and high-profile case, supporting her, is also back in Queensland, now working in aged care.
Last month, in showcasing her new clocks on her Instagram account, Corby described herself as “Middle Aged Woman With A New Passion”, saying she would post new creations each Thursday or Friday for those who wanted to purchase them.
“Hand made with #love by Me.”
Corby has also posts frequently about mental health, earlier this year taking a road trip with her sister after what she said was a “midweek onslaught of Cyber Abuse by Hundreds of Savages”.
Describing cyber bullying as a dangerous and real problem for this generation, Corby wrote: “Parents need to understand the mental trauma this abuse can cause & have a plan in place.”
Corby was arrested at Bali airport on October 8, 2004 after arriving on a flight from Australia.
The 4.2kg of marijuana was uncovered during a Customs search of her boogie board bag at the airport and she was arrested.
Corby was quickly dubbed the ‘ganja queen’ or marijuana queen by the Indonesian press.
On May 27, 2005 she was found guilty and jailed for 20 years, subsequently losing two appeals.
Then in 2012 she won a five-year sentence reprieve from the Indonesian president on the grounds of her mental illness developed inside jail.
At the beginning of 2014 she was released on parole from jail but had to stay an extra three years in Indonesia before her term officially expired.
On May 27, 2017 she left Bali and the next day arrived home in Australia.
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