The Big Issue : Edition 567
AT THE HEART LIFE’S A BEACH I often buy The Big Issue from our local vendor in Narrabeen. Around a year ago you featured an article about the Australian film Blue, which addresses and promotes the many adversities facing our oceans locally and globally. Flicking through that issue and reading that article I had no idea how significant it would be as a turning point in my life. I instantly purchased tickets to the film for my wife and myself. Up until that day I had struggled with finding purpose and direction in my life and had always felt lost for lack of a better word. A year on I now run a popular Instagram account, which gives me a platform to advocate for our oceans and educate hundreds on the unique ecosystems existing off our shores. I am also heavily involved with marine debris initiatives. More importantly, I have found direction in my life and have been able to help others find theirs. Without the catalyst article in your magazine it is unlikely I would have travelled the path I have, so thank you! Keep up the great work! Phill Nicotra, Frenchs Forest, NSW persevering and doing so much with your life despite the barriers placed in your way. You have every reason to be proud of how far you’ve come! Elizabeth Harington, Milton, Qld A brief note of congratulations on The Big Issue. I must confess to you that I once bought the magazine out of sympathy for the seller rather than the quality of the pieces therein. But now I buy for sympathy AND quality. I particularly enjoyed the articles in the most recent edition [Ed#566]. Well done to all! John Martin, Warracknabeal, Vic Ayub’s personal story of homelessness, ‘Handle with Care’ in Ed#562, was moving and revealing. It should be made compulsory reading for anyone who makes the claim I sometimes hear that homeless people choose that lifestyle, as alternatives are available. I shall certainly be sharing it with people I know who are inclined to think that way. Congratulations Ayub on THE TIMES THEY are a-changin’ here at The Big Issue (with apologies to our cover star Bob Dylan). For more than 22 years, Kirstie Papanikolaou has dished out assistance, advice and award-winning meatballs to vendors from our Melbourne office. She has been part of the TBI family since the very beginning, since the simple idea that a magazine could change lives first became a reality, launching on the steps of Flinders Street Station with 20 vendors. Now, after 567 editions, Kirstie is bidding us farewell. It’s a chance to reflect on just how far we’ve come since that winter’s morning in 1996. The Big Issue continues to change lives all around the country; 7000 vendors have sold almost 12 million magazines in that time, collectively earning themselves $27 million. Undoubtedly, selling The Big Issue is a tough gig. Behind the scenes there are people working hard to make life better for our vendors and the women who pack our mag for subscribers. A small team of support staff and volunteers around the country keep the heart of The Big Issue beating. They make sure our vendors have everything they need when they head out to sell each and every edition. They stand by them through personal lows and celebrate their triumphs. They offer friendship, kindness and humour. They dress up as plum puddings, sumo wrestlers and Christmas turkeys (okay, so that’s just Kirstie). And, perhaps most importantly, they give our vendors the opportunity they need to earn an income and make a difference in their own lives. And, in turn, our vendors make a lasting impression in theirs. As Kirstie explained in Ed#521, “I have had the pleasure of meeting some of the funniest, smartest kindest people on earth... All of them have taught me that life is precious, and that poverty and homelessness do not discriminate.” Amy Hetherington, Editor LETTER OF THE FORTNIGHT COVER #567 BOB DYLAN PHOTO BY JAN PERSSON @collettell Thanks to the @thebigissue seller who pressed the pedestrian walk button “because my hands were full” (of crutches). We had a brief chat, he’s making decent sales today. #adelaide THE BIG ISSUE USES MACQUARIE DICTIONARY AS OUR REFERENCE. MACQUARIEDICTIONARY.COM.AU @crab_fishing_1 Dr Gregory P Smith’s story [Ed#566] really touched me . I cannot wait to go to the writers festival and hear his talk. » ‘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, Phill wins a copy of the new David Lynch biography, Room to Dream. See our interview p30.