‘I worked as a lollipop lady at a pedestrian crossing in Erskineville for 13 years. I had a heart operation recently so I thought it was probably time to retire – and I was getting old enough and tired enough! I’m 79 so I thought it was about time to resign.

‘I’ve lived in Newtown for 39 years. I don’t know where to start to tell you how much it’s changed! It’s hard to explain. It was a much quieter place but now it’s become very, very busy with restaurants and things like that. It’s a different life altogether – but it’s better. I like the variety of today. Before it was quieter. There were no markets or anything like that. People got home by 5 or 6 o’clock – there wasn’t much happening. It’s a bit scary to walk at night sometimes now though. Well in those days I had a man in my life but now I’m on my own so I don’t go out at night time except if I go with friends. Otherwise it’s out of the question.’

 

‘People ask me what my style is. I don’t know. It’s just colourful. It depends on the mood of the day.

‘It’s kind of like a piece of art for me. I don’t do drawing – I don’t know how to do that kind of thing but I can dress up so that’s my hobby.

‘The best place to get some unique things is at markets. I travel around and find little shops and handmade and vintage shops and that’s where I get my good stuff. These handmade overalls are from Osaka in Japan. I don’t like to go to shopping centres. I haven’t been there for a long time. I don’t really buy brand new stuff except really, really amazing stuff that’s unique.

‘I try to wear something different every Saturday when I run my market stall. I’m a part of my business so I think I’m just one piece and I’m with my stall so I always try to think about what I should present today.’

‘I’m one in a long line of people who’ve been assaulted of late. Everyone has been a target – transgender, gay, lesbian – people who look different. I’ve heard of punks getting assaulted, goths getting assaulted – it’s insane. I’ve heard of racist attacks. There are people who are going out here on a Friday or Saturday night that would have never, ever come to Newtown previously. It’s the lockout laws in the CBD that have caused this.

‘The most upsetting part was I knew this was coming. Me and my band Love Maul were supposed to play at the Town Hall Hotel. I noticed there was a group of young men following me around yelling out “faggot”. One of them kept deliberately bumping in to me. I warned the security guards and they did nothing. I went upstairs to find our drummer and as I’m walking through the smoking area, my pony tail got yanked really hard and they yelled “faggot” again. Long story short, one of the guys grabbed me by the shirt, pushed me and then I got king hit. The next thing I can remember, my head’s down low and I’m just getting repeatedly punched in the face. But then they let the guy leave. People who were downstairs have told me he was ushered out by security on to the station concourse and told to leave.

‘They didn’t even call me an ambulance. I had blood coming out of my eye, my ear, my nose, my mouth – there are cuts all through it. The fact that a performer can be assaulted like that; someone who’s there to make the pub money, they didn’t care. They just didn’t care.’.