Former millionaire Alan Bond is using his time in jail to learn computer word-processing and to help others in jail “”to understand their full potential”.

Mr Bond revealed this is a reply to a Canberra businessman, Gil Miller, thanking him for his support.

Mr Bond said that during his visit to Royal Perth Hospital it was confirmed that he would need to have a heart valve replaced in the next 12 months.

Mr Miller, who runs the Fisher takeaway shop, wrote to Mr Bond in Woorloo jail in Western Australia. Mr Miller wrote “”as a self-employed person” giving Mr Bond his support saying, “”despite the hardship, there is something comforting about the knowledge that you are not dependant on another to hand you a pay cheque at the end of the day.”

Mr Bond wrote back: “”Coming to Wooroloo has given me the chance to commence a computer and word-processing course. Little did I know the immediate use it could be put to, as having received hundreds of letters during the first three weeks the only way to reply was to use this word processor. . . .”

“”As well as appealling against my wrongful conviction and sentence, I will be using my time to help others here to understand their full potential.”

Mr Bond’s letter to Mr Miller was printed in line-spaced, justified, sans-serif type. The only handwriting was Mr Miller’s name after the “Dear” and the word “Alan” at the bottom. Mr Bond has clearly mastered much word-processing, though the word “”appealling” suggests he needs a remedial class in spell-checking, and his capitalisation is often misplaced.

Mr Bond wrote: “You can be assured my Spirit is strong and my determination is not diminished.”

Mr Bond’s free-enterprise spirit is also still alive.

He wrote: “What concerns me now is how we can emerge fro this Recession and high unemployment. With so much Government interference and so little result one can be forgiven for having real doubts. What must be done is to encourage small business; for here lies the Secret to providing jobs and growth for the future.

“What could be done immediately is to provide for more apprentices and support for young people entering the work force. We need to abolish penalty rates, particularly in the tourist industries. . . .

“It should be understood, the potential of Australia is linked to the Asia pacific region. On our doorstep we have over two billion people, surely we can survive and prosper with the small population we have. Our farmers, if given a free hand to export their products with less government controls, could supply the needs of this region.”

Mr Miller wrote to Mr Bond saying, “My family, wife and four children, are suffering at the hands of a self-employed lifestyle during these times of economic strife and the rigours of just keeping one’s head above water take their toll after a while. . . .”

“I’m sick and tired of those people who call themselves Australia, doing their best to pull others back to their own levels of ambition as opposed to encouraging those who aspire to greater things. . . . “”

“I wish you well for the future.”

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