Convicted drug mule Renae Lawrence has opened up about the mixed emotions she has about returning to Australia when she gets her first taste of freedom after 13 years.
The Bali Nine member, 40, has been behind bars in Bali since she was convicted of drug trafficking in 2005 for trafficking 2.7kg of heroin into Denpasar Airport.
Lawrence revealed to News Corp this week that she feels ’emotional’ about her pending release from Bangli Prison in November.
She said her emotions ranged from ‘nervous’ to ‘happy, sad and confused’.
As the sole female in the now-infamous drug smuggling group, Lawrence initially copped a life sentence for her part in the crime – later commuted to 20 years.
Following a rocky childhood and a stint as a panel beater, it was while working for catering company Eurest where she initially crossed paths with her Bali Nine accomplices.
In fact the group’s ringleader Andrew Chan was her supervisor while in the job.
Also during this period a 27-year-old Lawrence was allegedly told by Chan to travel with him to Bali, with little additional detail given about the mission
She later claimed that Chan would cover the costs of the trip and that if she disobeyed him or disclosed the nature of their arrangement, he would ‘send (her) family to the farm’.
Upon arrest in 2005, Lawrence’s unworldly nature came into full glare with her own father describing her as ‘gullible, naïve and bloody stupid’.
In the years since, Lawrence gained further infamy through a brief relationship with fellow smuggler Schapelle Corby behind bars – as well as a later conversion to Hinduism.
She is believed to have attempted suicide twice during her hefty prison term.
However, her sentence eventually came with yearly remissions and cuts for good behaviour.
Lawrence could have been freed from prison in May but couldn’t make the $100,000 payment and opted to remain in jail for another six months.
Fellow Bali Nine members Myuran Sukumaran and Chan were executed by firing squad in 2015, while Tan Duc Thanh Nguyen died from cancer earlier this year.
‘What about the others? Only I will be free. The others aren’t free,’ Lawrence told News Corp.
She hopes to work when she returns to Australia but believes it may not be easy to find an employer that will take on an ex-prisoner.
‘In Australia, it’s difficult because we already have the status of prisoner,’ Lawrence told News Corp.
‘If the owner of the company is a kind person and can accept us but that person rarely exists.’
She was the only Bali Nine member to not receive life imprisonment and has been making the most of the rehabilitation programs while in jail.
She recently showed off her traditional Bali dancing skills and teaches classes to fellow inmates.