'The Big Issue is an informative, independent street magazine - a current affairs publication with a sense of humour. It is sold on the streets of Australia's major cities by authorised vendors who are either homeless or unemployed. [...] The Big Issue is Australia's premier street publication - it is the magazine that helps people help themselves. The Big Issue is affiliated with over 50 street papers around the world. Every member of the International Network of Street Papers is committed to producing a high quality publication, raising awareness about social issues and - most importantly - providing an opportunity for homeless and unemployed people to improve their life circumstances. Here in Australia, hundreds of vendors have used The Big Issue to get back on their feet, and to reconnect with a society they were in danger of losing touch with. The goal of The Big Issue project is to provide a way - via the selling of a great magazine - to assist homeless, ex-homeless and unemployed people to participate in society as independently as possible.'
(Source: The Big Issue website, http://www.bigissue.org.au/)