The Big Issue : Edition 470
10 THEBIGISSUE24OCT–6NOV2014 LETTER OF THE FORTNIGHT YOUR SAY ‘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. Have Your Say about The Big Issue: • email firstname.lastname@example.org • post The Big Issue, GPO Box 4911, Melbourne, Victoria 3001 • facebook The Big Issue Australia • twitter @thebigissue • website thebigissue.org.au/your-say/ Enjoying reading the last issue (Ed#469, left). Just wanted to let you know Fred Dagg’s ‘NZ: The Essentials’ on page 15 made me laugh out loud, pout, smile a lot and pull other funny faces. So much so, it piqued my fellow lunchroom companions’ curiosity. Tina O’Connell, Ashgrove, Qld Regarding Fiona Scott-Norman’s depressing pen-picture of the endangered grocery stores (in Ed#468): I am not the only person I know who has made it a deliberate policy to buy everything possible in the small businesses, and who only use the big supermarkets for items that we can’t get outside them. It is our small way of fighting back to preserve the multiplicity of brand choices that is gradually being eroded by those supermarkets in various ways. The more people who are able to resist cheaper pricing (tempting though they must be, especially to those who are struggling financially), the more likely we are to be able to protect small businesses from the bullying tactics of the big players. Especially since you’ve got to wonder just how long the cheap prices would stay if they do end up being the only games in town. Anne Ring, Coogee, NSW I am writing (following Ed#468) to encourage people who, like me, have been bullied in the past. I have had a hard life – my mother had a mental illness and my brother died in an accident. I have been bullied at school, and at my workplace by some of my bosses. As a result I have had depression and anxiety, and for a while I had a drinking problem. I have been suicidal at times. In my present home I am treated with respect and I feel safe. I enjoy football, meals out with friends and volunteer work. Growing up, my nickname was ‘Barney Rubble’. Name and address supplied, but anonymity requested LETTER OF THE FORTNIGHT I regularly buy The Big Issue from a vendor at the Esplanade Train Station in Perth. He is kind and friendly. He has burn scarring to his face and body but despite this has an impressive work ethic. He recently told me he is applying for his learner’s licence and saving for a car. I’ve rallied my colleagues in the hope that we can push him closer to his goal with each Big Issue. Our society has a long way to go to deliver equal and flexible employment opportunities – The Big Issue is leading the way! Alexandra Fox, Perth, WA It sounds like you’re talking about Rob, who was our Vendor Profile in Ed#454. Alexandra receives a copy of Shaun Micallef’s book The President’s Desk (see our review on page 41). In response to the Streetsheet (Ed#467) ‘Remembering Brian’, I remember how Brian Stephenson [former Qld manager] interviewed me in 2008; his quiet supportive character. Because of him, I got the chance to sell The Big Issue in Brisbane (I’m from Melbourne) and got some of my articles published in Streetsheet. Farewell. May he rest in peace. Helen, via post Thank you, Elly Varrenti, for ‘Still Waters’ (Ed#468). Thank you for communicating your mother’s unconditional love for her five- year-old grandson. At age 65, on a journey with many similarities, I was as inspired by her humour and commitment as I am by that of Ted (a Brisbane vendor) in his fortnightly ‘encouragement’ of me to buy The Big Issue. Great magazine! One day, I hope my daughter will say to me “Mum, can we take a walk together?” Treasure the moments, Elly. Narelle Mullins, Forest Lake, Qld FACEBOOK FRIENDS David Siebert Yassou from Athens, where I just bought The Big Issue. The vendor understood my ‘hello’ in Greek and attempt to confirm it was The Big Issue, and I understood his thank you when I bought it. It has pics of our vendors from Oz in it also. Genevieve Elliott I just wanted to tell you how pleased I am to be a subscriber [through the Women’s Subscription Enterprise]. My first copy arrived in the mail yesterday and it truly is an excellent, quality publication. I was humbled and pleasantly surprised also to receive a call from a lovely woman whom this enterprise is assisting. Great work, and a top quality magazine that is actually doing something solid and substantial to help people who really just need some caring, love and support. Love it! Thanks for all that you do.