The Big Issue : Edition 565
GRITTY IN PINK GOOD COP, GOOD COP What an amazing personal account by Inspector Corey Allen in his ‘Living Homeless’ article in Ed#563. For him to have come through such difficult home circumstances and a poor decision or two (pretty common for most people!) to reach where he is today is inspiring. But what literally moved me to tears was reading about what he describes as his “privilege” to help police understand the issue of homelessness in Brisbane, develop outreach programs and change the whole culture of city policing. This sentence says it all: “We learned to speak differently to people, to listen and take the time to see if we could help.” Such a turnaround in attitude is a truly wonderful achievement. Now, if only we could get Inspector Corey Allen to work with the rest of society! Elizabeth Harrington, Milton, Qld children in foster care who have experienced serious disruption to be able to fend for themselves at 18 is unconscionable. And how have we come to tolerate the blight of homelessness? As Ayub explains, we blame the victims. Cheryl Howard, Newham, Vic This issue [Ed#563] prompted me to write, as it made me feel so hopeful in the midst of a climate crisis! I’ve been buying your awesome mag for a few years now from Trevor, who sells outside the Fair Trade shop where I work in the Blue Mountains. I’d flicked through the “plastic” issue, but finally allowed myself a good Sunday lie-in indulgence and read it from cover to cover. The articles were great. Yes, we face a dire challenge but there is hope. As Katherine Smyrk’s article says, “Out of the literal piles of rubbish quickly gathering in our communities, rises an opportunity.” I’ve worked with my community to set up sustainable waste management for festivals, and I admit I have felt overwhelmed by the enormity of the task at hand. Reading about the Boomerang Alliance’s campaign called Communities in Control has renewed my desire to help bring about positive change. Thanks Big Issue! Marina Brown, Katoomba, NSW Recently I became a subscriber since I rarely go to the city. While it was a joy to see vendors’ faces brighten on purchasing the magazine in the streets, receiving my copy in the mail brightens my face. The stickers with the names of the women who pack the magazines are like hellos and handshakes. Thanks to my subscription I can stay in touch and not miss articles like Ayub’s ‘Handle With Care’ in Ed#562. Expecting LIGHT THE CANDLES and blow up the balloons, The Big Issue has turned 22! It’s been a great time to celebrate our successes – from hopeful beginnings to the reality that a magazine makes a life- changing difference to the 7000 people who have sold it all around Australia. Our vendors have earned an income, found purpose and built a community. It’s that community that can make a huge difference. Our vendors repeatedly share stories of customers whose chats and coffees make them feel seen. Your feedback on their stories, poems and profiles make them feel heard. When Sydney vendor Rachel T heard we were profiling Pink in this edition, she was keen to share her own story. Back in 2009, before she was selling The Big Issue in Pyrmont, Rachel was at a low point, homeless and in a wheelchair. After six really long, hard weeks, Rachel scraped together two tickets to Pink’s Funhouse Tour as a treat for her daughter. “It was a big turning point for me, for us. It’s good to see someone so strong, she gave me strength. I was determined to get out of the chair,” says Rachel. “It was so good to see a positive female role model at the time. Pink was a rebel, and reminded us that you can still be yourself and still achieve things and be accepted. She reminded us to be more fun, and maybe we had forgotten that. No matter how much trouble you have, still make it fun... Your life’s worth a little bit of happiness.” And that’s perhaps why Australia so loves Pink. It’s estimated that 15 per cent of us own a Pink album. When Pink kicks off her Beautiful Trauma tour this July, she will have sold more than two million tickets across her record-breaking shows. If a mere fraction of these fans buy this edition, then it will be a birthday present in itself. Our vendors will indeed be tickled pink. Amy Hetherington, Editor LETTER OF THE FORTNIGHT COVER #565 PINK PHOTO BY SØLVE SUNDSBØ / ART + COMMERCE THE BIG ISSUE USES MACQUARIE DICTIONARY AS OUR REFERENCE. MACQUARIEDICTIONARY.COM.AU » ‘Your Say’ submissions must be 100 words or less, contain the writer’s full name and home address, and may be edited for clarity or space. YOUR SAY ED’S LETTER As winner of this edition’s Letter of the Fortnight, Elizabeth wins a copy of The Great Australian Cookbook, featuring recipes from some of Australia’s best chefs. Check out Peter Kuruvita’s recipe for Sri Lankan Fish Cakes in our new ‘Tastes Like Home’ column, p40.