Home  /  The Big Issue Magazine  /  Vendors  /  Eddie

6 February 2020

Eddie

Photo by Barry Street

I was born in Brisbane, and moved to Adelaide when I was a little kid. We moved back to Brisbane when I was 12, where I finished school in Year 10. I’ve got an older brother in Brisbane who I haven’t spoken to in ages, and an older sister in Sydney who I get to see a couple of times a year. For the past few years we’ve done the City2Surf together, and I see her every Christmas too.

After school, I worked for Woolies doing trolley work for a few years, then in 1989 I started working in a brass foundry. It’s a trade job, but I was never properly trained as an apprentice, so I was classed as an assistant. I’ve also done some casual work for Queensland Rail, been a doorperson, done a bit of warehouse work and worked in a steel foundry. I even found work replacing rotten railway sleepers – that was a good paying job that one!

I moved back down to Adelaide in 2008. I tried to find a job all that year, but I couldn’t find any work. My depression kicked in badly because I didn’t have anything to do. I decided to sign up at The Big Issue – that was about 11 years ago now; a lot of things have changed since then!

I’ve been back in Brisbane since 2013. I’ve got a better quality of life now that I’m a Big Issue vendor. It’s given me a chance to do a bit of travelling, which I’ve always wanted to do.

In March last year I went over to Perth, and in May I’m heading up to Darwin. I’m trying to go to every capital city. Eventually I’d like to go to Canberra and Melbourne. I’ve been a Collingwood fan for years and I’d love to see them play at the ’G.

I am from Queensland, so I’ve also been a Broncos fan since 1988, when we entered the competition. I’ve even got a Broncos tattoo! I went to their second-ever home game, which was against Penrith. I used to be a season ticket holder but these days I only make it to a game occasionally.

Every Sunday I work at the Kelvin Grove Village Markets and it’s something I love. Some of my customers have made me feel like a member of their family; there are some kids I’ve watched grow up! Making friends with my customers means the world to me; I feel like I’m a part of the community.

Working with The Big Issue has been great for my self-esteem. Making connections with people and getting out of bed with a purpose in life makes a world of difference. I’ve also made some great friends with other Big Issue vendors.

Something I always try to remind myself of is this quote from Rumi: “The very centre of your heart is where life begins. The most beautiful place on Earth.” I’m ready to make 2020 my year!

Photo by Barry Street

Interview by Stephanie Young
Eddie sells The Big Issue at Central Station, Edward St, Brisbane