Time for big celebration

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Training & Education - By KRISTIE LIM

IN­DE­PEN­DENT magazine The Big Is­sue is cel­e­brat­ing 20 years since the first is­sue hit the streets in 1996.

The Big Is­sue came to WA in 2002 and has changed the lives of home­less and dis­ad­van­taged res­i­dents since then.

There are more than 60 ven­dors work­ing across WA, in­clud­ing in May­lands near the IGA su­per­mar­ket.

Bill (47) has been with the pub­li­ca­tion since the be­gin­ning.

He said the an­niver­sary was im­por­tant to all ven­dors.

“It means a lot to all ven­dors Aus­tralia-wide and world­wide that The Big Is­sue keeps go­ing,” Bill said.

“(It has) changed so many ven­dors’ lives from be­ing home­less to some ven­dors now own­ing their own houses.”

Bill said he had gained many op­por­tu­ni­ties since he started sell­ing the magazine.

“I have been in nu­mer­ous sit­u­a­tions where I have been taken to din­ner by cus­tomers who have now be­come per­sonal friends and in­volve me in their busi­nesses,” he said.

He also said he had sold mag­a­zines out­side Nick’s Place Ke­bab Shop on South Ter­race, Fre­man­tle, for two years.

“It gives me pro­tec­tion, sup­port and de­cent food and coffee when I need it when I am work­ing long hours, and the staff are gen­er­ally kind to ven­dors,” he said.

“A lot of other busi­nesses do the same. The Fre­man­tle coun­cil is very sup­port­ive of The Big Is­sue and we are al­lowed to sell in just about every place in Fre­man­tle.

“Perth coun­cil has done not too bad over the 10 years we have been alive here.”

One con­cern Bill em­pha­sised was the “mis­con­cep­tions” non­read­ers had of the magazine.

“I would like to see some­one talk to me and not call it a left­wing or right-wing or po­lit­i­cal magazine… it likes to give a broad range of opin­ions about ev­ery­thing,” he said.

“I want to change how the magazine is per­ceived by the peo­ple who do not buy it.”

The Big Is­sue spe­cial an­niver­sary edi­tion will be on sale on Fri­day, June 3. Ven­dor Michael sells copies at the Kala­munda Mar­kets on week­ends.

Www.com­mu­ni­typix.com.au d453813

The Big Is­sue seller Bill.

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