Nine years to make up: Corby's new life

A NEW LIFE: Schapelle Corby will be jostled into an outside world very different from the one she last saw.
A NEW LIFE: Schapelle Corby will be jostled into an outside world very different from the one she last saw.

Her father has died, nieces and nephews have been born, and Schapelle Corby has spent nine years of her prime in a dank Bali cell.

With her parole expected to be granted this week, Corby will be jostled into an outside world very different from the one she last saw.

When she was busted at Bali's Denpasar airport Corby was 27, with ambitions of becoming a beautician and perfecting her tan on a Gold Coast beach.

Her well-documented mental illness, steadfast proclamation of innocence and fight to be freed from prison has transformed her from carefree surfer chick to careworn martyr of 36.

In whatever state she emerges from the notorious Kerobokan jail - with relief, joy or anxiety - dozens of cameras will be waiting to record it.

Her new life will begin with her sister Mercedes and brother-in-law Wayan Widyartha in his family's Kuta compound.

Like all on parole, she must report to authorities, abide by the law and accept snap inspections.

Parole in Indonesia also means taking moral instruction, being polite to authorities and dressing "appropriately".

In recent days a French drug smuggler was granted parole in Indonesia in a similar case.

Michael Blanc, 40, who must now live with his mother in Jakarta for the rest of his term, had one complaint about his first night of freedom.

He couldn't sleep because the bed was too comfortable.

Corby will find life much easier in the Kuta compound, although not luxurious.

In 2007, Mercedes told the family's biographer Kathryn Bonella about her simple lifestyle, which revolves around Balinese Hindu ritual.

Thirty members of Wayan's extended family live in the collection of six small houses in the heart of Kuta.

"We live in Wayan's uncle's house rent-free, as he lives in Jakarta," Mercedes said.

"It's very primitive, with old fans to move the stifling air, a squat toilet, and a bucket and ladle for showering."

Corby also plans to work at Wayan's surf shop, which has an offshoot garment-making business.

She plans to design bikinis, a venture that will no doubt turn Wayan's store into an overnight tourist attraction.

How much time the new parolee can spend in places apart from her home and work, no one knows

She will notice a vastly different Bali - and of course everyone will notice her.

Most significantly for Corby, she will find her family much changed.

Her father Mick Corby died of prostate cancer in 2008, having not seen his daughter for the last 18 months of his life.

The 2011 book Sins of the Father, by Eamonn Duff - which has inspired a soon-to-air TV mini-series - places Mick in a drug syndicate that ultimately cost him his daughter.

Mick denied knowledge of the drugs until his death. Meanwhile the Corbys have taken legal action against the book.

A related documentary by Janine Hosking meanwhile showed the swinging dynamic between Mercedes and the family matriarch Rosleigh Rose as they negotiated the tricky legal and media pathways.

In Australia, both women are as recognisable as Corby herself thanks to their love-hate relationship with the media.

With her parole, Corby will no longer need to rely on either mother or sister for advice and will have a say in the scramble for the first interview.

While Mercedes' three children regularly see their "Aunty Pelle", Corby has had less contact with her brother James Kisina's children.

Kisina was there when she was arrested at Denpasar, but if it scared him, his rap-sheet doesn't show it.

In November last year, the 26-year-old avoided jail time for possessing cocaine and fleeing from police.

At the time he was on parole after receiving a suspended sentence for deprivation of liberty.

He also has a prior conviction for possessing marijuana.

At Kisina's most recent court date, the magistrate advised him to grow up for the sake of his two children, aged three and one.

The family is said to be estranged from another troubled brother, Clinton Rose, and in 2008, Rosleigh Rose's partner Greg Martin also died of cancer.

Had Corby not applied for parole, she would have been eligible to return to Australia sooner.

Now she must live in Kuta until March 24, 2017, with the possibility of a further year of "guidance" to follow.

Her much yearned-for dip in the surf at Tugun is a way off yet.


October 8, 2004 - Arrested at Bali airport with 4.1kg of cannabis in bodyboard bag

May 27, 2005 - Found guilty of drug trafficking and sentenced to 20 years' jail

July 5, 2005 - Case reopened after appeals by both defence (for a new trial) and prosecution (asking for life imprisonment)

October 15, 2005 - Bali's High Court reduces sentence to 15 years. Both sides appeal to Indonesia's Supreme Court

January 19, 2006 - Supreme Court reinstates original 20-year sentence

August 25, 2006 - Corby appeals against sentence to Supreme Court on the basis of CCTV footage, which never materialises

March 28, 2008 - Supreme Court rejects final appeal, leaving presidential clemency her last resort

August 17, 2011 - Prison governor confirms she has been granted a total of 22 months remission over the preceding five years

May 22, 2012 - Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono orders five-year reduction in sentence

Aug 17, 2013 - Corby recommended for early release but process bogged down by bureaucratic wrangling

Dec 25, 2013 - Sentence cut by two months as part of an annual Christmas remission program

Jan 20, 2014 - Frenchman Michael Blanc, jailed for smuggling hash into Bali in 1999, released on parole to live in Jakarta

Jan 21, 2014 - Indonesia's Corrections Department says Corby's parole case to be heard by end of the month


March 2007 - Queensland Court of Appeal freezes proceeds earned by Schapelle Corby and family from interviews and her top-selling book, My Story, by former Nine Network producer Kathryn Bonella.

June 2008 - Mercedes Corby wins multi-million dollar defamation payout from the Seven Network, which aired defamatory claims by her former best friend Jodie Power.

December 2008 - Mercedes appears on the cover of lads mag Ralph in a bikini, saying: "It's good to have some nice photos at my age with three kids."

April 2009 - The commonwealth seizes A$128,000 of profits from My Story, having sought A$270,000.

April 2013 - Corbys awarded more than A$50,000 in damages for family photos published in the book Sins of the Father without consent. They had sought A$300,000.

May 2013 - Defamation claim brought by Schapelle's brother Michael against the same book, by journalist Eamonn Duff, is dismissed. A number of claims remain, including Mercedes' imputation that the book defames her by alleging she exploited her sister's incarceration by profiting from media deals.