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Jen Hutchison In Conversation
with Tony Brooks

Bourke Street: My View from Here

He’s in the same spot on Melbourne's Bourke Street every day, down the hill from Parliament House. He arrives in the early morning gloom and stays until dusk.

He settles his wiry frame on an upturned milk crate or sits on folded cardboard on the footpath. He leans back on the wall where an unoccupied warehouse meets a bookshop. Bourke Street’s elegant plane trees shadow him from the morning sun and drip on his umbrella when it rains. His upturned cap rests on the footpath, but money is not his raison d’etre. His positive energy and constancy have led to his nickname, ‘the mentor of Bourke Street’.


Hundreds greet him. He shares a positive word and a smile with everyone. No one knows the true story of his life. His name is Tony Brooks.


Everyone has a story. This is his, and it’s not what you might think.