Recently, I've had the chance to walk around the city, camera in hand just taking shots of all the interesting characters that make Melbourne their home or are here visiting.
Surrounded by a sea of unwelcoming, flat and sometimes downright unfriendly stares, you soon come across the souls who are out there, living and sharing their true selves without any masks.
Some would call them the crazies, others the unwashed. Me, I tend to look beyond the obvious non-conformance of what society thinks these people should be and try to see the beauty beneath. If you stop and have a chat with any of them, you too will see their simplistic, giving natures in most cases. Go ahead, I dare you. They don't bite and their insights into life can sometimes make you think.
Take for instance Wayne, pictured above. Kneeling down over his artistic creations on the floor in front of Myer in the Bourke St. Mall, most people would just think that he's trying to earn a living by selling his hand drawn greeting cards. But taking a moment out of your day to actually chat with him will quickly show you that yes, he does sell his art and greeting cards to earn a living. But that's not the only thing he does. In fact, it's the last thing he actually mentions when you talk to him.
Taking it upon himself, Wayne is on a mission to help out the homeless people of this great city of ours. Every single cent he gets from those who sponsor him goes straight to helping out these unlucky individuals in need. Yep, you read that right. He keeps none of the money in administration or any other bullshit. And while there's a few organisations out there helping out the homeless, there are very few who take it upon themselves to extend that help to the four-legged friends that some of these people have with them. Not so Wayne. A recent drive helped Wayne and his volunteer team reach many a hungry homeless doggie on the street. That's a great big plus in my books!
So to all the 'Wayne's' out there in the great big world I say, Thank you. Thanks for doing what you're doing and more importantly - for being who you are. And to all those who may be in town for work or just sight-seeing for the day - maybe skip that coffee today and drop the $5 his way. Every bit helps and you can count on the cash going exactly where it should be going.
PS: Check out Wayne on Facebook. https://www.facebook.com/WaynesCards/?ti=as