German-born Cornelia Rau spoke to the press after being released into the Adelaide community on Monday.

She has spent several weeks under psychiatric care after being released earlier this year from Baxter Detention Centre in South Australia.

The 39-year-old former Qantas flight attendant was initially detained by police in Queensland last year after telling people she was a German tourist.

She was then taken to the Baxter centre until her identity was discovered in March, after a total of 10 months in detention.

At a press conference on Monday Ms Rau described her treatment in jail and immigration detention.

Her wrongful detention is now the subject of a private government inquiry headed by former federal police chief Mick Palmer.

Ms Rau said she would pursue financial compensation in the courts.

“Yes, definitely, it has been too gruelling an experience,” Ms Rau told reporters in Adelaide.

Ms Rau claims she was never mentally ill, but was “locked up in a cage like a caged animal”.

Ms Rau said she was not treated with respect during her ordeal, which ended earlier this year when it was proven she was a missing Australian citizen and not an illegal immigrant.

“I’m happy to be out of the barbed wire environment,” she said.

“My life has been pretty much turned upside down, I wasn’t aware that they normally do that type of thing, I think it’s quite incredible.”

Ms Rau said she was uncertain what her immediate future held, saying she had “a few things to sort out”.

She said there was a problem in Australia with the police and the system which wrongfully detained her.

Ms Rau was reportedly being treated for schizophrenia last year.