About the

The Big Issue magazine is a fortnightly, independent magazine sold on the streets by people experiencing homelessness, marginalisation and disadvantage.

Vendors buy each
magazine for $4.50

Vendors sell the magazine
for $9.00 each

Vendors earn $4.50 per magazine, earning a meaningful income

Meet The

Susan and Ted

The Big Issue is very good because I’m learning to get around the CBD by myself. I’m also getting my confidence up and earning money, and I like that I’m communicating to different customers.

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“I’ve been selling the magazine for 25 years. I’m really proud to see the evolution of the magazine, and my evolution as a person too.”

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I’m a man who lives in the moment. I like to stick my life in cruise control and forget about the bad times. I don’t have big plans or expectations for the future. In the past, life threw more stuff at me than you’d think.

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I was born in Melbourne. I’ve got my mum. I’ve got my twin sister – I’m classed as older, by a couple of seconds, I think – and then I’ve got my little sister and my brother. My parents separated when I was young, around four or five.

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I grew up in Cooma, New South Wales. There were four children in our family and I’m the eldest. One time Dad was working in Thailand. My sister and I went to Bangkok to visit him. It was exciting going on the plane.

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“I love selling the mag because it gets me out of the house. I get to meet different people. I’ve known a lot of the vendors for a long while, so it’s good.”

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Community and Distribution partners

  • Citiplace Community Centre, City of Perth
  • City of Adelaide
  • City of Brisbane
  • City of Melbourne
  • City of Perth
  • City of Sydney
  • Community Northern Beaches
  • Katoomba Neighbourhood Centre, Katoomba
  • Mary Ryans Bookshop, New Farm
  • Micah Projects, West End
  • Mills Records, Fremantle
  • Paperbark Merchants, Albany
  • Vicinity Centres

The Big Issue magazine is a fortnightly, independent magazine sold on the streets by people experiencing homelessness, marginalisation and disadvantage.

Vendors buy copies of the magazine for $4.50 and sell them for $9, keeping the difference and earning meaningful income. Since it began in Australia in 1996, more than 13 million magazines have been sold, putting $34 million into the pockets of Australians experiencing disadvantage.

The Big Issue is timely and topical, and loved by readers for its distinctive brand of irreverence. The magazine has something for everyone: vendors’ stories, celebrity profiles, culture, commentary and in-depth social justice investigations all feature in its pages.

The magazine is available in both a print and digital version, or by subscription which provides employment for women experiencing disadvantage through our Women’s Subscription Enterprise.

It’s as simple as make, buy sell!

The Big Issue editorial team make a quality magazine each fortnight, which is made available for vendors to buy at $4.50 per magazine.

Vendors then sell the magazine to customers for $9 each, earning a meaningful income. There is no minimum number of magazines vendors have to buy, and any unsold magazines can be exchanged or refunded.

“Sometimes people say, oh I’ll just give you a donation. A donation may help, but it’s not selling a mag. The magazine does not just happen. And we’re not all homeless. We are not out there begging. We’re working. I feel very strongly about this. I might take it too seriously, but we go out to work, we own the fact that we’re doing it.” – Melbourne vendor, David.

Want to rave about us, reprimand us, or give a shout out to your vendor? Fill out the form below to share your feedback with us. You might even be selected for our magazine’s ‘Letter of the Fortnight’!

By submitting you give permission for your name and letter to be included in our magazine. Submissions may be edited for clarity or space.


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Past Issues


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Molly Meldrum

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