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14 October 2013

Bradley

Photograph by Peter Holcroft

"At first my family was up at The Entrance, NSW, near Woy Woy, and we moved down here when I was 15 to be near to other family. I’m 45 now.

There was one girl and five boys. One of my brothers has a disability, too. I don’t see my brothers – I get on with them well, but they are working. One owns a factory, another works in a factory out Liverpool way. My parents and sister have now passed away. 

I was in the special school in Woy Woy. I can’t read or write – well, I can write my name, but not my address. 

I worked in the disability factory at Ingleburn; you make $130 a fortnight, packing stuff and things like that. I did that for a long time, but I thought the people there were too bossy, so I left. 

I was not doing anything before The Big Issue, just travelling on the trains. I love travelling around – I know what I’m doing, what times the bus and trains leave; I don’t have to look it up. I’m on the disability pension, so it’s $2.50 to go anywhere, even the ferry. My pension goes to the Guardianship Board, who manage the money.

I met one of the ladies at a church in Petersham where I went for lunch – Susan [Leith-Miller, NSW Operations Manager] was there telling people about The Big Issue.  It’s been two months. I sold heaps of one edition. I love doing it – I smile and let the customers come to me. Most of them know me a little bit, and sometimes I get tips. 

I went to Hurstville today. I sell in lots of places – Palm Beach, Dee Why, Collaroy, Warringah Mall, I do everywhere. I work from 8am to 8pm, seven days straight. 

I do come into the [Big Issue] office some mornings and have a coffee. The staff are very nice – I don’t know the other vendors, so I just keep to myself. 

I live in a one-bedroom apartment and I know how to cook and clean up, make my bed and everything. I don’t have a TV at the moment, because I just moved in. I’d like to get one, and a washing machine and a new fridge. I watch movies sometimes on a little DVD player.

This is my favourite job and I’ll stick with it, all the way through. I like to do The Big Issue – it keeps me busy, occupied. And I like being [profiled] here in The Big Issue [magazine], because a lot of my customers will buy it. Even if no one buys it, I’ll like to look at the photo!"

Interview by by Peter Ascot/ photograph by Peter Holcroft
Bradley sells The Big Issue in Sydney