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Finally, a week to celebrate street paper vendors!

By ArrEmm 8 February 2013 8

bis issue

If you live in Canberra there’s a good chance you’ve seen a Big Issue vendor wearing a bright yellow vest and selling magazines.  If you bought one of the $6 magazines, then you’ve helped provide employment and independence to some who has worked hard to help themselves.

The Big Issue provides flexible employment opportunities for people who might otherwise find it difficult to find a job due to mental illness, disability, homelessness, or other barriers to employment.  As well as a job, it provides an opportunity for marginalised people to get out in the community, socialise and feel a sense of pride and belonging, while also reducing homelessness.

International Street Paper Vendor Week runs from February 4-10 and celebrates the initiative and determination of people all around the world, including the 30 Big Issue sales people working in Canberra.

Director of Woden Community Services Chris Redmond accompanied Big Issue Vendor Grant Wilson to get an idea of how difficult being a street paper vendor is.
“It’s a tough gig being a street paper vendor!  You’ve got to be confident, outgoing, and always stay optimistic.”  Said Chris.

Woden Community Service manage the distribution of The Big Issue and provide support to the vendors in Canberra.  For information on how you can be involved call 6234 6813 or email thebigissue@wcs.org.au, and buy an extra copy of The Big Issue in honour of this very special International Street Paper Vendor Week!

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8 Responses to
Finally, a week to celebrate street paper vendors!
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bearlikesbeer 11:34 am 11 Feb 13

Drawn the line on what? Chuggers run temporary stalls within Westfield Woden. I assume that means they paid Westfield to be in there. It can be hard to walk through Westfield Woden without being approached by a chugger who wants to ask you “one question sir”.

I am willing to bet most Canberrans are more sympathetic to Big Issue vendors standing at Westfield entrances than they are to the teams of chuggers who leap in front of them as they walk through the shopping centre.

NellyBean 10:20 am 11 Feb 13

bearlikesbeer said :

I’m disappointed that Westfield has decided to lump Big Issue vendors in the same catagory as beggars and buskers. Surely Westfield wants to be seen to endorse and encourage such programs, as they benefit the community in all the ways ArrEmm has mentioned above. I don’t think having Big Issue vendors led away by big blokes in uniform is a good look for Westfield Woden.

allowing Big Issue vendors without a permit would open the door to any and all not for profit chuggers. They have to draw the line somewhere, and if it means we’re just that little bit less likely to be harrangued by the latest start up who just “want to as you one question sir” then I am okay with it.

Meconium 8:27 pm 10 Feb 13

Maybe it’s the kavavision, but that looks kinda like Malcolm Turnbull and Johnboy flogging The Big Issue together…

Instant Mash 7:12 pm 10 Feb 13

bearlikesbeer said :

The other day I approached a Big Issue vendor as he was being escorted away from the Corinna St entrance to Westfield Woden by security. As I purchased my copy, the Westfield security guard explained that Westfield does not permit beggars, buskers or Big Issue vendors outside that entrance. He explained that he was escorting the Big Issue vendor to the Woden town square entrance to Westfield, where “Westfield permits sales of The Big Issue”.

I’ve always thought Woden town square was public land, so I don’t see how it’s up to Westfield to permit anything on land they don’t own.

I’m disappointed that Westfield has decided to lump Big Issue vendors in the same catagory as beggars and buskers. Surely Westfield wants to be seen to endorse and encourage such programs, as they benefit the community in all the ways ArrEmm has mentioned above. I don’t think having Big Issue vendors led away by big blokes in uniform is a good look for Westfield Woden.

Westfield security (both Belconnen and Woden) are borderline useless at their jobs. After working at those malls for the past 3-4 years, I have only twice seen them do anything useful. Otherwise it’s just threats or them waiting for the cops to do the hard stuff for them. Hell, they actually have those ‘jock’ conversations about ‘this guy I smashed once’.

bearlikesbeer 12:55 pm 08 Feb 13

The other day I approached a Big Issue vendor as he was being escorted away from the Corinna St entrance to Westfield Woden by security. As I purchased my copy, the Westfield security guard explained that Westfield does not permit beggars, buskers or Big Issue vendors outside that entrance. He explained that he was escorting the Big Issue vendor to the Woden town square entrance to Westfield, where “Westfield permits sales of The Big Issue”.

I’ve always thought Woden town square was public land, so I don’t see how it’s up to Westfield to permit anything on land they don’t own.

I’m disappointed that Westfield has decided to lump Big Issue vendors in the same catagory as beggars and buskers. Surely Westfield wants to be seen to endorse and encourage such programs, as they benefit the community in all the ways ArrEmm has mentioned above. I don’t think having Big Issue vendors led away by big blokes in uniform is a good look for Westfield Woden.

Duffbowl 12:39 pm 08 Feb 13

Matt_Watts said :

I know the bloke on the right from the Belconnen Mall. Good man. Haven’t seen him for a while. Glad to see he looks well!

He’s at the northern entrance to Woden most days. Decent enough bloke.

Solidarity 12:26 pm 08 Feb 13

He’s at Woden these days

Matt_Watts 11:19 am 08 Feb 13

I know the bloke on the right from the Belconnen Mall. Good man. Haven’t seen him for a while. Glad to see he looks well!

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