The Big Issue, Australia's street magazine created to financially assist those who sell it, will release its 500th edition this Friday and to celebrate, celebrities like Dave Hughes will be donning the vendor vest.
Also the annual Christmas issue, the fortnightly magazine was originally launched in Melbourne to create job opportunities for homeless and disadvantaged people.
The Big Issue CEO Steven Persson said more than 10 million copies of The Big Issue magazine had since been sold around Australia, putting a much needed $21 million into the pockets of sellers.
“Around 500 people sell the magazine across the country each fortnight -- rain, hail or shine,” Mr Persson said.
“From humble beginnings, the magazine has become a lively national, independent publication that is the flagship for an organisation offering many innovative programs, all aimed at helping disadvantaged people.”
To mark the 500th edition milestone well-known personalities including Dave Hughes, Annabel Crabb, Matt Moran, Judith Lucy, Peter Garrett and players from Carlton and Fremantle football clubs will don The Big Issue’s trademark fluoro vest.
Each guest seller will spend 30 minutes spruiking the magazine alongside a Big Issue vendor in the lead up to Christmas, at various locations around Australia.
The Big Issue’s editor Alan Attwood said the 500th edition represented a remarkable survival story over a period when print publications have struggled, here and around the world.
“The Big Issue is unique in the Australian media landscape – a magazine that exists to assist the people who sell it,” Attwood said. “This milestone is a tribute not only to our remarkable vendors over 500 editions but also everyone who has supported what we do.”
The Big Issue’s 500th edition will be on sale until 25 December, featuring Melbourne vendor Darryl on the cover and Christmas messages from vendors around the country.