You’re not going to believe how many brothers and sisters I’ve got. I’m the youngest; I’ve got three brothers and four sisters. I was born with the cords around my throat and couldn’t sit up until I was one year old, couldn’t walk by myself until I was two. I went to West Ipswich State Special School. Put it this way: I could not wait to leave school.
I live by myself in Ipswich. I started working at The Big Issue because I got sick of sitting around home doing nothing. Before I sold the magazine, I used to pick up trolleys, and I also worked at the Endeavour Foundation, at Wacol. When I was working there, we were making lolly stands for displays and stuff, and also making kitty litter.
I was talking to one of the Big Issue guys, Ernie, who sells in Ipswich, and he told me all about the mag. I bought one off him one time and I took it home to read it, and it was very interesting. I thought to myself, I might have a go at selling them. And I rang up the office and went in for a meeting and they signed me up straight away.
Every fortnight when the new mag comes out, I sit on the train and read it. My favourite section is this one, the vendor profile. And I’ve got my very own customer: my darling mother! She buys one off me every fortnight! I bring it home and give it to her. I see Mum just about every week. She’s what I call my bank manager. She handles my money.
You’re not going to believe this: back in 2014, I was in hospital. I was in there for 195 days, with something called necrotising fasciitis. Look it up on the computer. It’s something to do with eating the flesh, and I had to have skin grafts on my chest. I couldn’t wait to get out of bloody hospital!
I play darts on Monday mornings and do tenpin bowling on Wednesday nights – I’ve been bowling since 1991 and I’ve won so many trophies I don’t even know where to put them! We’re on top of the ladder at the moment, our team. We’re called The Cool Cats. Mum gets me a season ticket for the Broncos’ games too, and so I go to the footy. I hate it when I go home on the train and the bloody Broncos lose! I’m mad about the Broncos. Lockyer’s my all-time favourite player. And Alfie Langer. I’ve taken my mum to a couple of games.
I’m trying to save up my Big Issue money. A couple of years ago Mum and Dad went on a cruise and I went with them, and Mum said that I had to try and save $1000 so I could go on this cruise. I found it really hard, but I really enjoyed the cruise! I’d love to do it again. I’m thinking about trying to save up to go on a holiday by myself. I’d love to go to my brother’s place in Wagga.
Glenn sells The Big Issue outside Broadway, Adelaide St, Brisbane
Interview by Melissa Fulton
Photo by Barry Street