"I started way back in 1997 with Ed#21 and when my last ‘Vendor Profile’ came out, in 2009, I was still working in the city. Well, the last six years saw the best change in my life. In 2012, I decided I would sell at Concord and wouldn’t have to worry about selling in the city, if I could find somewhere else, too. That other spot is Five Dock.
Living at Concord West, it’s nice to have a spot close by. I was very fortunate from day one that I had the support of the community, and funnily enough I have about eight city customers who buy off me in Concord or Five Dock.
Not working in the city anymore, I don’t have to deal with as much stress. That has really helped me manage my bipolar. My mental health has been at its best for many, many years. I may not sell as many magazines, but I’m happy.
I have also reconnected with family, and continued with Street Soccer and The Big Issue Classroom. I have also become an uncle again over the last 12 months; I’m quite the doting uncle.
As many know, I am originally from Tasmania. It is hard being so far away from the family, for me family is everything. I am a mummy’s boy and I’m not ashamed of saying it. I learned a lot of lessons from Mum when I was growing up. Watching her raise my sister and me on a parenting pension was a heck of a thing. So I give a lot of credit to my mum in making me the type of person I have become.
For 15 years my dad and I weren’t on good terms. I’m very thankful that we had the chance to make peace, and we now talk regularly on Facebook. I’m looking forward to getting home this year to see Mum and for a couple of motorsport events.
Motorsport is a big part of my life, always has been. When I am officiating at a racetrack I’m at peace. I’ve been fortunate enough to be a chief flag marshal for the Festival of Sporting Cars a few times a year.
I’m very proud of being involved with The Big Issue Classroom over the last few years. To have the opportunity to talk to students and help put homelessness into perspective has been very rewarding. I was homeless for seven years and unfortunately I still have friends who are homeless.
Thanks to Street Soccer, I have also had the opportunity to make a dream come true. In 2013, I played for Tasmania at the Street Soccer Nationals. To play for the state that I was born in, to me, was the ultimate – something that is always going to be special.
Change is inevitable; you can either embrace it or sweep it under the carpet. While I still have the passion and the drive to sell The Big Issue I will continue to do it. Who knows what the next part of my life is going to be like? I can guarantee you one thing: it’s not going to be dull."
Marcus sells The Big Issue in Concord & Five Dock, Sydney
interview by Sam Clark photograph by Peter Holcroft
This article first appeared in Ed#503 of The Big Issue