I graduated in year 10 and have always liked to play sports, particularly Rugby League and Union which I played for my school and for my local club. I don't like rice. I like all music and enjoy reading books by Tom Clancy. I have two sisters, a twin and an older one. When I was young my parents got divorced. My current situation has affected my family a lot, the way people look at them. A positive thing is that now I have a better relationship with my whole family which I never thought would happen.
As a kid I use to play with matches a lot. I loved the look of fire and watching things burn. I got caught by my dad once and he took me to the fire department so I could see what fires do to people's houses by playing with matches. I thought it was great. I wanted to become a fire fighter.
My heroes in my childhood were the 'Power Rangers.' I am a dedicated Christian. I attend church all the time here, almost every day.
The reason why I think I have led this path is because of certain factors that happened in my life. Yes I feel remorseful. This has affected my family in circumstances not many could comprehend. I have learned a lot about myself in here too. I realise that my actions don't just affect me. I hope that people back home don't judge me too harshly. I get a few visits from people I don't know. They just want to drop in and say hello and see how I'm going. I'm currently getting my life back on track and studying for my HSC [High School Certificate] which I never completed. I hope to write a book in the future to help young youths to think about their actions before they make them. Every body makes mistakes and we can learn from them and change our ways. Doing something for quick money isn't worth it. You can't put a price on your life.
I share my cell with an American and an Algerian. It's comfortable enough for three of us. We have a cell with a squat type toilet and a large tub that I stand in and pour buckets of cold water over myself. It's so hot. I sleep on a small mattress on a bunk bed. It's not the best but I'm trying to make the most of it. My daily routine is church in the mornings, sport in the afternoons, and reading and studying of a night time. As for the guards here, they try their best to help us in whatever way, but it's hard because we don't speak full Indonesian yet. I get consular support from the Australian Embassy but there isn't much they can do for me.
If people want to write to me or send care packages, they can forward these to me at the prison. I will try to write back to all the letters I receive. I would appreciate any support that people give me.
I can't believe my family have stuck with me through this situation. I don't know what I'd do without them. The two things I miss most are my family and watching the football. Please pray for me.
Finally, thank you to everyone who has thought about me and what I am going through. Thank you also to the Foreign Prisoners Support Service for your ongoing assistance and this campaign page.
Matthew James Norman