The Big Issue : Edition 481
10 THE BIG ISSUE 3 – 16 APRIL 2015 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/ off and he disappears to the nearest pile of books. Our spare bedroom now has one complete wall of books. Rods that once hung in the double wardrobe have now been removed and replaced with shelves...for more books. I guess the sentiment “you don’t get rid of books” is something I will just have to learn to live with. Denise Tarrant, Happy Valley, SA As with Lyn [Your Say contributor, Ed#480], The Big Issue isn’t sold in my area, so when I heard about The Women’s Subscription Enterprise on ABC Radio, I subscribed immediately. Up until that time, I didn’t realise how, by selling The Big Issue, so many people have been able to turn their lives around. I read The Big Issue from cover to cover. It is packed full of so many interesting articles and reviews. Keep up the fantastic work! Diane Noble, Lalor Park, NSW During my days at Sydney University, I always looked forward to getting my copy of The Big Issue from USYD vendor Bill, the most cheerful and kind-hearted guy around. I left for South Korea after graduating and thought of Bill every time I bought a Big Issue magazine over there – his words always had the power to cheer anybody up. I recently returned to Australia, ventured into the university, and who was there but Bill – still upbeat, still with his ‘Don’t Worry, Be Happy’ trolley, still going strong! It was so wonderful to get my copy of The Big Issue from Bill again! After seeing a bit more of the world, I honestly think that he is the most awesome vendor in the world. Keep going, Bill – you have no idea what an amazing presence you have at Sydney Uni, and in the hearts of students there! Heidi Sham, Meadowbank, NSW I was disappointed by aspects of the Roving Eye, ‘Waiting for the Avalanche’ in Ed#480. It was a nicely written piece After moving offices last year, I took out a subscription through The Women’s Subscription Enterprise, and love receiving my magazine with a reminder that I have supported The Big Issue employing homeless women – a great initiative! Nonetheless, on a trip to the city recently I couldn’t resist buying the latest edition from a vendor, and soon found myself enjoying International Women’s Day reading about an outstanding woman – and I’m not taking about the multi-millionaire on the cover [Emma Watson, Ed#479]. In that edition’s Vendor Profile, the story of Pat from Perth reaffirmed my faith in the human spirit. What a brave and inspiring woman! Kath Jones, Bayswater, WA Thank you to the lovely Fiona (I think), for leaving a personal message on my phone to thank me for subscribing to The Women’s Subscription Enterprise. A lovely surprise and very much appreciated :o) Sharon Filer, Alphington, Vic In the My Word story titled ‘Shelf Life’ [Ed#478], the first line was “We need more bookshelves”. Oh! I despair when I hear my husband say those exact words. John’s passion is BOOKS. Every time we go to an op shop, a radar goes about Reema Hamdan (who took the accompanying photographs), and I appreciate it was a personal account, but the media guides public opinion. And as a young woman with epilepsy who works in the disability sector, I had some issues with this article. I am aware the general public still refers to epileptic seizures as ‘fits’, but this is terminology most people who have epilepsy are trying to change. Any future articles should refer to ‘seizures’. The fact is, too, that there are various types of epilepsy. Regarding the comment “I don’t look disabled, so it’s not really considered a disability”, there are many different kinds of disabilities, including some that are not immediately apparent. My main concern is that the article may have made Ms Hamdan, and indeed all people with epilepsy, appear pathetic. The general public have a limited understanding of the capabilities of people with epilepsy and the wide variety of epilepsy types. The ability to drive, for example, can depend on the type and frequency of seizures. I love The Big Issue; I will continue to buy it. But keep in mind that some of your vendors, and certainly many other buyers, will have epilepsy. Perceptions are important. Cashelle Dunn, Melbourne, Vic @whatsfong Just bought my first ever @thebigissue – can’t believe it’s taken me so long. Lovely chat with my enthusiastic vendor! Hopefully first of many.