The Big Issue celebrates 22 years

16 June 2018 Magazine

The Big Issue celebrates 22 years


June 1996 marked the beginning of The Big Issue in Australia. This month we celebrate our 22nd birthday and the 7,000 street vendors who have sold the magazine since we launched.

The Big Issue model was created in 1993 – based on The Big Issue UK – by a group of Australians who wanted to do something about homelessness.

The magazine was launched on the steps of Flinders Street Station on 16 June 1996, and in the early days was sold by just a handful of vendors.

From those humble beginnings it’s become a much-loved magazine that supports hundreds of Australians doing it tough every year.

To date, an incredible 7,000 street vendors have sold more than 11 million copies of the magazine, collectively putting $27 million into their pockets.

The Big Issue Editor Amy Hetherington says: “For 22 years The Big Issue has been helping people help themselves. People facing disadvantage of any kind can put up their hand and be given the chance to work.

Listen: Amy Hetherington on 2SER

“We are very proud of our 7,000 vendors, past and present, who have worked in rain, hail and shine to improve their circumstances. Selling the magazine on the street is a tough job and their resilience is remarkable. 

“Nobody chooses to be homeless, and Big Issue vendors challenge stereotypes every day by proving that people who are homeless do want to work, want to lift themselves out of poverty and want to contribute to society.”

Thank you to everyone who has embraced The Big Issue over the past 22 years.

Vendor profile