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18 January 2019

Trevor D

Vendor Trevor


Trevor sells The Big Issue in Sydney.

I didn’t get a lot of encouragement from my parents; I was left to do what I wanted and ended up knocking about with the wrong people and staying out all night. I left home at 18. I was on and off the streets in Melbourne for a good nine years – couchsurfing, squatting, sleeping down the Yarra.

I haven’t seen my parents for five years now. I was on Facebook the other day and I found my sister’s profile, she’s six years younger than me. I sent her a message and my phone number and asked her to give it to Mum and Dad and tell them to call me if they want to. Hopefully I hear from them.

I moved to Sydney after I got brutally bashed and nearly died in 2005. I was just coming back home, and half a dozen guys came running around the corner at me. I got a brain injury from it and have suffered anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress since.

When I recovered, I came up to Sydney to go camping alongside the Hawkesbury River for a month. One month turned into 13 years. In those 13 years I was with my ex for 10 years and had four kids. I haven’t seen them since 14 November 2014. Hopefully I can see them soon.

Last year was a challenge. I was sleeping on the street in the middle of winter. I was still coming to work every day. Not getting much sleep, working 12-hour days to pass the time and wear myself out. I eventually found a room and I’ve been there four months already. No turning back.

In the past, drugs were a way to escape from my anxiety and depression. I started smoking pot when I was 12. I dabbled in a bit of heroin when I was 18, then I was going to rave clubs every night, getting on ecstasy and cocaine, going hard. I’ve been clean for two years now.

I found a chance to break the cycle and once I seen the way to escape it, that was the best thing I’ve done. I just gotta get my teeth done, get them pulled and get dentures. I’ll be happy then.

I love selling The Big Issue. To me it’s a big adrenalin rush because I’m out there every day putting smiles on faces. It’s just a good way to meet people, learn a bit more about other people. I get a lot of encouragement from a lot of people too. For me, it’s helped me appreciate myself a bit more. My self-worth has gone way up. I’m not putting myself down as much. I love getting up in the morning and going to work.

A few good opportunities are coming up; I’ve met myself a nice lady online. She’s up at the Gold Coast. I ring her every night and we talk for hours. I’m going to go up soon and see how things go.

A big thank you to all the people who have supported me at Topshop and the QVB and the office over the last year, and for all the encouragement. You’ve given me a lot.

Photo by Peter Holcroft

Interview by Sam Clark
Trevor sells The Big Issue outside the QVB and Topshop, corner of George and Market Sts, Sydney.