The Big Issue : Edition 486
THE BIG ISSUE 12 – 25 JUNE 2015 5 VENDOR PROFILE DALE SELLS THE BIG ISSUE IN DARWIN I WAS BORN in Melbourne, I’ve been in Darwin probably for 10 years. But I’ve been up north most of my life, in the Kimberley. I like the weather – nice beautiful days, and you’re not digging around for a blanket. I’ve got a big family, aunties and cousins; one cousin is even up here. My mum’s still in Melbourne, and my sister is on the Gold Coast. I left home at 15 and went to Wyndham in WA, just me. It was good, an experience. My uncle had a business up there, and I went up there for work. I did the last season of the Wyndham meatworks, before it closed in 1985. I was on the maintenance side. I went to Queensland with an engineering company as a technical assistant at the Mt Leyshon Gold Mine [near Charters Towers]. That was a six-month contract. Then it was back to WA, where I worked out in the Tanami Desert. It was probably around 1989 when I went back to Melbourne to work. My old man passed away and I invested some money he left me into a pub in the Snowy Mountains. My aunty and I had shares in it, and I was there four or five years. But I got sick of it – too cold! I was working with my brother-in-law plumbing in Queensland, before I went back to Wyndham working on the wharf, fitting and welding. Along the way I got some qualifications – my crane ticket, working-at-heights ticket. I’m on the disability pension due to an accident, but I’m trying to get off it. That’s why I went to The Big Issue. I was staying at Bakhita Centre, a single men’s hostel in Darwin run by St Vincent de Paul. Around 18 months ago, just coming up to the wet season, a manager there asked me if I wanted to sell The Big Issue. I was the first to sell it in the Northern Territory, but now there are a couple of other vendors in Darwin, too. I sell at Nightcliff Market each Sunday from seven am ’til two, and Casuarina Shopping Centre at lunchtimes, mostly on Wednesdays. A lot of locals don’t know about the magazine, so a lot of the customers are from down south who already know about it. But it’s picking up real good: I’ve got 15 regular customers at the market and don’t get any hassles. St Vincents has now put me through a tagging and testing certificate, for testing appliances, and I’m trying to start my own business in that. The Big Issue has helped me a fair bit – it helps pay my accommodation, and to save for a Portable Appliance Tester [a tool needed for tagging and testing], which costs $1800. I’d like to thank St Vincent de Paul for the chance to sell The Big Issue here. If they can get more people to sell it, all the better. The opening is there to make good money – get in early! interview by Peter Ascot » St Vincent de Paul administers The Big Issue in Darwin.