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.
I was born in Northam and grew up in the Wheatbelt. The Department of Child Protection took me away from my parents when I was very little, and me and my sisters moved around a fair bit. I try not to think about my childhood – and school wasn’t a fun experience either. I went through different schools and told them to get stuffed when I was 18.
I’m 28 years old now and I like where I am in life. I live in supported accommodation with my mate Ben. We’re both gamers and have sessions on our PlayStations sometimes until the early hours. We play a wide range of games, but mainly Grand Theft Auto V. I’m also a train buff; my 00 gauge miniature train tracks are taking up my spare room and I like to go in there and build on it. It helps me through the hard times and keeps my mind at peace.
A couple of friends got me to sign up to The Big Issue in 2015 and it helps me in more than one way. The extra money gets spent on the train set and I like how the flexible work gives me freedom and breaks up my week. I also enjoy the vendor community, going around and talking to other vendors, sharing tips and helping them if they are new and want to know where they can find their pitch.
Selling the mag also gave me the idea and confidence to start a side business: Big Dog Scooters. I’m on YouTube. I save scooters from junkyards. I bring them home, take them apart, replace what needs replacing and sell them for a bit of a profit. I love scooters. I used to have a couple and would take them to the skate park sometimes. Nowadays I have one that I’ve built for the streets. You’ll see me flying down the malls in Perth on my way to work and back. I take my scooter everywhere.
I would like to say a big thank you to all my customers, my regulars, the first‑time buyers and the ones who haven’t bought one off me yet but will see this profile. Come and say hi if you see me on my pitch, I’ll show you my shiny scooter and I love a chat.
Joshua sells The Big Issue outside David Jones, Murray Street, Perth
Interview by Simon Grammes.
Photo by Ross Swanborough.