27 June 2016
The Big Issue, a magazine providing employment for some of Australia's most disadvantaged people, is celebrating 20 years since it began in Melbourne.
Launched at Melbourne's Flinders Street Station in 1996, The Big Issue has since assisted 6,500 homeless, disadvantaged and marginalised people across Australia to earn an income.
Vendors currently make $3.50 profit from every copy they sell of The Big Issue.
Across the magazine's 20-year history, 513 editions have been published, with over 10 million copies purchased. This has resulted in more than $23 million in income for vendors.
Now the country's longest-running social enterprise, The Big Issue has expanded to create additional initiatives assisting disadvantaged Australians. These include:
- The Big Issue Classroom – providing an opportunity for Australian schools to book guest speakers to talk about their experiences of homelessness;
- The Big Idea – a competition for university students to create a plan for a life-changing social enterprise business.
The idea for The Big Issue arose in Australia in 1993 after a group of leading Australians began investigating ways to tackle rising homelessness and were inspired by the UK version of the street publication.
The 20th anniversary edition of The Big Issue is now on sale.