Newtown is awash with characters and personalities. Walking down King Street is a thrilling experience, full of potential friends and stories. One of the new faces of Newtown is Robbo who sits outside the IGA or Newtown station selling The Big Issue in the afternoons.
Robbo’s contagious smile and chirpy persona have helped him fit in perfectly both at The Big Issue and in Newtown. “I like it here. Most of the people are nice, some you don’t get on with so well but I just smile and be polite.”
The tough collapse of a long-term relationship saw Robbo wandering the streets for a year. “It was pretty hard because we had two kids together, but I still see the kids once a month. I miss them but if I’m a bit sad I have photos in my phone. I just look at them and it picks me up a bit, keeps me going.”
It was a chance meeting with a staff member from The Big Issue that introduced Robbo to the magazine and he started selling four months ago. “It’s been good, I like it. I was a bit shy before and it’s kind of helped me get out of my shell a bit and get confidence in myself. I’m more happy with myself now than I was four months ago.”
An avid Roosters fan, Robbo also likes ten-pin bowling and hopes to travel to Uluru and Perth once he has settled down and found full-time work. “I’m trying to find my own place and get full-time work but that’s pretty hard, so I’ve just been doing this [selling The Big Issue] to keep my head above water.”