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2 April 2020

Craig F

Photo by James Braund.

I went to school in Bendigo. I can’t remember much about it; it was too long ago now. But I didn’t like school – didn’t like any of it. I didn’t like the classes, got in trouble a bit. I got through it, though – just. Then I stayed around for a bit, working different kinds of jobs.

I worked in Kyneton at the meatworks. I worked at Mayfair, doing pigs. It was alright. I liked seeing all the meat; it didn’t turn me off it. But it did turn me off eating pies. If you knew what meat went into mince pies, you wouldn’t be eating them. I still eat chunky ones, just nothing that’s gone through mincers, you understand?

Then I got my truck licence and said, “Right. I’m going to WA.” I just wanted a change. I was over in Perth for 25 years. Just doing freight up and down and all around WA. I moved houses and that too for a while. WA roads are better than what they are in Victoria.

I’ve been back here nearly two years. I don’t really get on with my brothers and sisters, but I came back because my aunties and that are all getting old, and there’s been a few of them who’ve fallen off the perch, so I wanted to catch up with them.

I was homeless when I moved back. Staying at different people’s places for a while, just moving around. And then I met Vesna, my girlfriend. I knew her when she was over in Perth – she was living with her sister there – and then when I came back over here I bumped into her again.

Vesna sells The Big Issue too. We work together now. We’ve been doing it for a while. We started at around the same time. We work on the pitch together: she does one end of the market and I do the other, because you get people coming in both ways. It’s been good. I like the freedom, the hours – you work whenever you want to work. The money’s been good; it’s getting me by.

Vesna and I have been together over 12 months, going on nearly two years. We’re gonna do something for our anniversary, but I dunno what yet. She likes flowers; I buy them for her all the time from the market – most weeks.

I live in a one-bedroom unit now. I went to emergency housing and got a place from them. I live there on my own. I don’t really have a rule to live by or nothing. I just want to have a good time, to get out and do things.

When we’re not selling The Big Issue we like to keep busy. We’re into sport: car racing, sprint cars. I was a Holden supporter, but I wouldn’t buy the cars now. They’re made overseas and the metals are that thin!

Photo by James Braund.

Interview by Melissa Fulton
Craig Sells The Big Issue at St Kilda and Flemington Markets, and at Moonee Ponds, Melbourne