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29 June 2018

David K


David sells The Big Issue in the Brisbane CBD. 

I’ve been selling The Big Issue for about 14 years, and first got involved by seeing another vendor selling outside a supermarket. I asked what it was all about and signed up that same day, it was as easy as that! That was a time in my life when things were starting to go a little bit better for me: I’d just moved out of hostels into a house, and had got custody of my daughter. The Big Issue definitely helped – I had a way to earn some money, too.

The most important thing to me is being a good dad to my daughter. I’ve had custody of her since she was two years old, and brought her up by myself. Life wasn’t always easy for a single dad, but I tried to give her as much love and support as I could. I’m so proud of her – she’s quite smart and talented, and I know she’s going to do great things in life. She’s going to TAFE now and has recently moved into a share house with a friend. I think she has a bright future ahead of her. Since my daughter moved out, the house could have been a bit lonely, so I’ve got two bull terriers to keep me company.

Before selling the magazine I worked a lot of different jobs: labouring, steel fixing… I worked in a galvanising factory for a while too, but wouldn’t wish that job on anyone. I’ve also worked as a taxi driver, but after being hit by a car more than a decade ago and getting a big knock on my head I started having seizures, and was told by doctors I wouldn’t be allowed to drive anymore. So I’ve just been selling The Big Issue since then.

I’ve also been playing Street Soccer for years. I signed up two weeks after the program started in Brisbane, although I wasn’t sure I’d do well. I learned a lot of skills and improved really quickly though, and these days I’m there almost every week. I went for about five years without missing a single session!

It’s really important to me, and helps me to make connections as well as helping out a bit with my fitness. I’ve represented Queensland twice at the national Street Soccer championships, once when it was in Melbourne and once in Sydney. I’m not sure if I played well or not, but I loved the opportunity to be there. It meant a lot to me to be able to represent Queensland, and to meet players and coaches from other states.

I’m generally a bit of a sports fan. I used to play rugby league growing up, and still watch the games when I can. I always try to watch the Broncos on TV! I also love swimming.

There are a lot of people who have bought the magazine from me over the years, and I feel well looked after by them. There’s one regular customer in particular who has given me lots of support for about a decade, and always stops to buy the magazine. He has a daughter about the same age as mine, so he knows what it’s like being a dad.

Whether you’re a regular or just someone I see now and then, I’d like to thank everyone who’s ever bought a magazine, or even just stopped to have a chat. Having the chance to meet new people means a lot to me. Thank you to all the kind customers who buy me a hot chocolate in the mornings too – it gets really cold some days!

Photo by Barry Street



Interview by Kurt Maroske
Brisbane, QLD