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Tim Costello

Tim Costello AO


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CEO World Vision

In his “Tips from a travelling soul seeker" Reverend Costello shares his experiences of people far less fortunate than ourselves. A well known face and voice to audiences around Australia, Tim is known for his work with the homeless and marginalised people, and his stance against the excesses of gambling.  In February 2004 he became Chief Executive of World Vision, Australia’s largest overseas aid organisation, drawn to the organisation’s philosophy of helping the poorest of the poor. 

Tim Costello is recognised as one of Australia’s leading voices on social justice issues, having spearheaded public debates on gambling, urban poverty, homelessness, reconciliation and substance abuse.

Since February 2004, as Chief Executive of World Vision Australia, Tim has also been instrumental in ensuring that the issues surrounding global poverty are placed on the national agenda.

Passion For Justice

His passion for justice and for helping to alleviate the suffering of poor communities in the developing world quickly became evident when the devastating Asia tsunami struck on Boxing Day, 2004. The leadership he showed at the time helped to inspire an unprecedented outpouring of generosity from the Australian public, with World Vision Australia raising more than $100 million for tsunami relief.

Tim has also played a prominent role in the Make Poverty History campaign. And in April 2008, he chaired the Strengthening Communities, Supporting Families and Social Inclusion Committee of the Australian Government’s 2020 Summit in Canberra.

Prior to joining World Vision Australia, Tim served as Minister at the Collins Street Baptist Church in Melbourne, and as Executive Director of Urban Seed, a Christian not-for-profit outreach service for the urban poor. Between 1999 and 2002, he was also National President of the Baptist Union of Australia.

Baptist Minister

After ordination as a Baptist Minister in 1984, Tim established a vibrant and socially active ministry at St Kilda Baptist Church between 1986 and 1994. In 1993, he demonstrated his commitment to serving the community by successfully running for the position of Mayor of St Kilda.

Tim studied law and education at Monash University, followed by theology at the International Baptist Seminary in Rueschlikon, Switzerland. He also received a Masters Degree in Theology from the Melbourne College of Divinity.

In 2004, Tim was named Victorian of the Year; in June 2005 he was made an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO); and in 2006 was named Victorian Australian of the Year.

He has written several books, including Streets of Hope: Finding God in St Kilda; Tips from a Travelling Soul Searcher and Wanna Bet? Winners and Losers in Gambling’s Luck Myth (co-written with Royce Millar).


“Excellent. Very inspiring, Tim was very casual and informal and talked about subjects all attendees could associate with."
Outer East Employment Service

“Very appropriate and challenging to all who attended."
Loddon Shire Council

'The presentation really hit the mark with our audience. Tim was entertaining, engaging and most of all relevant for what we needed.'
Haileybury Victoria

The concensus from the delegates was that Tim and his presentation was outstanding. He provided the necessary macro view of social work in the world context in an articulate, engaging and thought provoking fashion.
AASW - Australian Association of Social Workers

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