Andrew Chan

Early life

Andrew was born in Sydney, Australia in 1984. He has two sisters and a brother. His parents, Ken and Helen, worked long hours all their adult lives running a Chinese restaurant.

Andrew is known to friends and family for his sense of humour, especially his love of practical jokes, and has a passion for sports, particularly rugby league and tennis.

Andrew attended Homebush Boys High School and Belmore Boys High before leaving school in year 10.  He later found work at a catering company.  

Criminal case

In April 2005, Andrew and eight others, including Myuran Sukumaran, were arrested in Bali for attempting to traffic heroin to Australia. Andrew was tried and convicted in the Denpasar District Court and in 2006 was sentenced to death by firing squad.   

He lost two more appeals in 2006, and by September 2006 had been sentenced to death three times. 

From that time he changed lawyers, and slowly turned his life around, facing up to wrongdoing and reforming himself. 

In 2011, Andrew learned that his final legal appeals had not succeeded. Unless there is a grant of clemency by Indonesia’s President Yudhoyono, he and Myuran  face execution by firing squad.

Life in prison

Andrew and Myuran, since their arrest, have been housed in Kerobokan Prison. The prison governor, Siswanto, describes Andrew as a model prisoner and believes that he has had an extremely positive effect on other inmates. Andrew counsels and mentors inmates, helping them through down periods. Along with Myuran, he also provides them with computer lessons.

In the past few years, following a period of self-reflection and facing the gravity of his possible execution, Andrew has found the Christian faith. He is taking a course in theology, studying to become a pastor and runs the English Language Church Service in the prison. Andrew says that his faith has helped him cope with life in prison and says – “I trust that this (death by firing squad) isn't God's divine plan for me, and he has a better hope and plan for my life.”

In his spare time, Andrew continues to follow his rugby league team the Penrith Panthers, and reads fiction, especially the works of John Grisham and Wilbur Smith.

I apologise to the Indonesian people, I also apologise to my family and I realise that my actions have brought shame and suffering to my whole family. If I am pardoned...I hope that one day I will be able to have my own family and work as a pastor so I can give guidance to young people. I can still contribute a great deal during my life.

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