The Big Issue : Edition 578
ROO AWAKENING ANOTHER YEAR OVER, and a new one just begun...so what have you done? Well, not to skite, but I have spent the start of the year working towards a childhood goal: playing the gum leaf. I’m sure John Lennon had bigger ideas. Ever since I saw young Sonny Hammond call Skippy with a gum leaf, I have wanted to share this Indigenous superpower. And I tried, and tried, mangling many gum leaves through my misspent youth. Though, later, a neighbour showed me how to make a whistle out of the shiny leaves of a mirror plant (tip: just add a bit of spit and fold the leaf in half). Reminded of my long-forgotten goal when putting this edition together, I spent the weekend watching YouTube videos of gum leaf players. Yes, really. I can finally make a sound, but it’s unlikely I’ll be able to summon a kangaroo to help me save children trapped down a well. Since he first hopped on to our screens in 1967, Skippy has been an Aussie icon. He reflects all the goodness that we project onto our national emblem. But, as science writer Rhianna Boyle explores, our relationship with the kangaroo is much more complicated. PS. Thanks to Melbourne vendor Phil for our cover line! Amy Hetherington, Editor » ‘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 J’ADORE LE FRENCH My family recently had the pleasure of catching up with columnist Ricky French in person last week in our little town in outback Queensland. We are, and have been for some years, subscribers to what we think is the best magazine going. Its place of residence is in the “reading room” where it genuinely gets read from cover to cover, over and over. We would buy it for the content even if it didn’t help people experiencing homelessness – the fact it does is even better. We like the long form, the fact that there is substance not just clickbait, and we have genuinely read something new and interesting each edition. Ricky is a favourite, and to actually get to have a beer with him and share some of his experiences was fantastic. Along with Lorin, Fiona and the rest of the team please, please keep doing what you are doing. So from a little town in outback Queensland, Barcaldine in fact, we look forward to hearing more from Ricky both via the magazine and hopefully face to face somewhere soon. Morgan, Louise, Hannah and Sabine Gronold, Barcaldine, Qld I recently lost my partner to suicide. I found solace in the piece “Celebrating the Beetles” [Ed#576] by Lorin Clarke. I was reading it on the train, and finished it standing on the platform with tears streaming down my face, in the pouring Melbourne rain. It was so comforting and beautiful. Jasmine, Kensington, Vic Today I bought The Big Issue from Kevin, who sells in the pedestrian tunnel from Adelaide Street to Central Station in Brisbane. He made me feel very special, gave me a big hug and a signed Christmas card that I’ll treasure. I just wanted to make sure his efforts (above and beyond) didn’t go unnoticed. Melanie Beckinsale, Bowen Hills, Qld The Big Issue is always worth buying because it discusses serious issues that really matter. I was so happy to see your vendor Luceil back at Hawker shopping centre. She is such a lovely person. It’s always good to see her and have a chat. The place where she sits is good when the weather is hot, but awful when the weather is cold and windy. Susan McDougall, Scullin, ACT COVER #578 PHOTO COURTESY TOURISM AUSTRALIA THE BIG ISSUE USES MACQUARIE DICTIONARY AS OUR REFERENCE. MACQUARIEDICTIONARY.COM.AU Next edition’s Letter of the Fortnight will win a copy of Adelaide Central Markets: Stories, People & Recipes. Check out our recipe on page 40. For your chance to win, send your thoughts, feedback and stories to firstname.lastname@example.org. As winners of this edition’s Letter of the Fortnight, the Gronold family win a copy of Shaun Tan’s Tales from the Inner City. THANKS TO YOU, OUR VENDORS HAVE ENJOYED RECORD SALES OF THE 2019 CALENDAR. JUST $10, GET YOURS BEFORE THEY SELL OUT. GAMAL SELLS THE BIG ISSUE IN MELBOURNE.