|Have you ever used your notoriety to pick up women?
No. I think it’s definitely helped if it’s been thrown into the conversation by a mate or something, but I don’t ever boast about it.
Was it difficult to relive the experience while writing Bank Robbery for Beginners?
I got so much support while writing the book and I think I rehabilitated myself in a lot of different ways. Me and the people closest to me were able to put the whole thing to rest and move on. But it was quite difficult for some people, especially my parents, to read it and to know everything I endured.
What does Luke, your former partner in crime, think of the book?
He’s happy for me. We’re two very different people and he’s home safe and sound doing his own thing. We don’t talk a whole lot about the past. We catch up for a surf every now and then but just keep it light and easy. I can imagine it might be difficult for him to relive the ordeal, so I don’t expect him to read it.
What was the most important lesson that you learned in jail?
I learned not to be so selfish and to consider consequences and appreciate the feelings of others. Obviously that’s something I didn’t do. I was completely selfish in deciding to go ahead with robbing the bank. There were extreme repercussions on the bank tellers, on my beautiful family, on my girlfriend at the time, on my friends and all the people around me. There were very, very serious consequences, and I never considered them because I never thought I’d get caught. In my naïve mind, I thought I’d be in and out and off to Mexico.
In your opinion, what’s the biggest problem with the US prison system?
That’s an interesting question. I suppose one of the main things that stands out for me is the lack of rehabilitation. Personally, I was seeking to support myself through study and journal writing, but I’d have to fight to get the prisons to allow my text books and calculators and other study materials. They weren’t helping. If there was more education and it was mandatory for all prisoners to study and evolve, I think it would stop recidivism and help them when they got out. Everybody in there is just bored shitless and they get caught up in the politics of prison, such as racial segregation and that kind of bullshit.
What’s the best thing about being free?
Women! I have a beautiful girlfriend and being able to interact with females in any way makes me feel more human. The other benefit is nature; being in the bush or the ocean is what I used to long for more than anything.