29 October 2014
Photograph by Geoff Perks
I have lived on farms most of my life but I was actually born in Perth. Dad had the family farm out in Narembeen, which is about 300km east of Perth. We had about 6000 acres, running mostly wheat and sheep. My two brothers and I worked on the farm with Dad. One of my brothers is still running the farm today.
I really loved to drive the tractor. One day the tractor ran over me and I ended up in hospital. Driving the hay-carting truck was also one of my jobs and I liked riding the trail bike. I drove like crazy on the bike and had a few accidents.
I eventually gave up farm work and moved to Bunbury with Dad.
I have had a few jobs since coming off the farm. I had a contract to mow the local school oval with my ride-on mower for a while and I sold eggs and manure in Narembeen. I have also had a few cleaning jobs with local businesses, but they were short-term. I used to make stepping stones out of concrete and sell them.
I like running my own business. So when Lorraine [WA Disability Service Commission Local Area Coordinator] told me about The Big Issue I was really interested. I think I am a bit of a salesman and I was off the mark pretty quickly. I sold out on my first day!
I sell at Paisley Square in Bunbury and I talk to everyone who passes by. I have built up a real following now and have lots of regular customers. Bunbury is a small town and the people here are very kind, although I did get my bike stolen recently. I suppose that happens anywhere. The good news is that I have replaced it with a new one with the money I make selling The Big Issue.
I need the bike to get to my pitch every day. It takes me about an hour to cycle to work and an hour to get home, 11km each way. On the way to work I stop at The Body Shop in Bunbury to buy my magazines. The people in The Body Shop are really nice and help me a lot.
I am also selling now in Australind [a small town close to Bunbury] a couple of days a week at the shopping centre there, which is close to where I live. Selling The Big Issue is the best thing I have done. It is great to get out and meet people and the money is handy too. I am never going to stop doing this. I got a big hug from one lady the other day, so what more do you want!
Interview by Interview by Jim Petrie
Bevan sells The Big Issue in Bunbury and Australind, WA