About The Big Issue

We are an independent, not-for-profit organisation dedicated to supporting and creating work opportunities for people experiencing homelessness, marginalisation and disadvantage. Simply put, we help people help themselves.

What we do

We run social enterprises to create work opportunities for people who are unable to access mainstream jobs. These enterprises operate much like traditional businesses, except all revenue is put back into the enterprises for the benefit of the individuals involved and broader community.

Our social enterprises include The Big Issue magazine, the Women's Subscription Enterprise and The Big Issue Classroom. We also run the Community Street Soccer ProgramThe Big Idea and Homes for Homes.

Our social enterprises not only provide opportunities for people to earn an income, but importantly, to build confidence and their capacity to help themselves.The people we help come from a range of backgrounds including mental illness, homelessness, long-term unemployment, intellectual and physical disability and drug and alcohol dependency.


The Big Issue magazine concept came to Australia in 1993 when a group of prominent Australians came together to explore solutions to help address Australia’s increasing homeless population. They proposed a model based on the UK’s successful Big Issue street magazine model. The first magazine was launched in Australia on the steps of Melbourne’s Flinders Street Station on June 16, 1996.