Editorial: Born To Be Wild

24 April 2017 Amy Hetherington

Editorial: Born To Be Wild

Last year, a few months after I’d started at The Big Issue, I ran into Nick, one of our Melbourne vendors. We had a chat about the mag – what was working; what wasn’t – and he offered suggestions on covers and content. It was a long list of great ideas. I took notes.

At the top of his list: interview Sigrid Thornton. Well, Nick, I’m happy to report the stars have aligned. In our Letter to My Younger Self (p20), Sigrid talks Wentworth, acting, activism and her real-life run-in with the law.

Many Australians have a soft spot for Sigrid, including those in our office. An eight-year-old Michael Epis, our Contributing Editor, asked his mum if they could adopt a young Sigrid after she was orphaned in an episode of Homicide; and Deputy Editor Katherine Smyrk and her sisters remain sartorially inspired by Sigrid’s SeaChange character, still referring to a boat-neck as a “SeaChange neckline”. While demographer Bernard Salt coined the phrase “the Sigrid factor”, after several Australian towns prospered after she filmed there. 

In this issue we also go further afield, focusing on the devastating impacts of wildlife poaching on animals, people and environments all around the world. Rhianna Boyle (‘Born to be Wild’, p14) argues poaching is the confluence of extreme poverty and extreme wealth; while cartoonist Zev Landes (p17) illustrates the plight of the pangolin, the world’s most trafficked mammal that you’ve likely never heard of. And there is good news – Simon Jaggi visits Namibia to report on community-driven conservation initiatives that have seen endangered animal populations now thrive. 

And in this edition, it was also important for us to pay tribute to John Clarke – comic great, long-time friend of The Big Issue and father of our columnist Lorin Clarke. Former editor Alan Attwood (p8) remembers a generous and brilliant man, beloved by so many.

Amy Hetherington, Editor

This editorial first appeared in Ed#535. To read all about the things mentioned, grab a copy of The Big Issue from your vendor today!