Tim Costello

Chief advocate of World Vision Australia

In 2016, Tim stood down after 13 years as CEO of World Vision Australia, to take up the newly created executive role as chief advocate for World Vision. Tim Costello has long been the voice of social conscience for many Australians, having led debates on domestic issues such as gambling, urban poverty, homelessness, reconciliation and substance abuse.

As CEO of World Vision Australia, Tim lead an organisation of about 560 staff, with an annual income of about $350 million, and 400,000 children overseas sponsored by Australians. In this role, Tim has witnessed the worst of humanitarian disasters and seen the most inspiring human responses to suffering. After the Asian Tsunami of Boxing Day 2004, Tim travelled immediately to the disaster area, and his presence and media profile added significant weight to the World Vision appeal, which ultimately raised more than 100 million dollars.

Tim studied law and education at Monash University, followed by theology at the International Baptist Seminary Rueschlikon in Switzerland, and a Master's in Theology at the Melbourne College of Divinity. He has been a Baptist Minister in St Kilda, and in the city at Collins St Baptist Church.

In July 2004, Mr Costello was named 2004 Victorian of the Year in recognition of his years of public and community service. In June 2005 he was made an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO), for "service to the community through contributions to social justice, health and welfare issues, international development assistance, and to the Baptist Church". In November of the same year, Tim was awarded the Victorian Division winner of the Australian of the Year.

Tim is one of Australia's most sought after public speakers and every year addresses tens of thousands of people from the public and private sector, and the wider community.

More about Tim Costello:

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

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 Mayor of St Kilda, a position he held until the State Government disbanded councils shortly afterwards.

He founded Urban Seed, a not-for-profit Christian outreach service for the urban poor. Between 1999 and 2002 he was National President of the Baptist Union of Australia.

He was appointed Chairman of the National Australia Bank's community advisory council, a member of the Alcohol Education and Rehabilitation Foundation, and Chairman of the Community Council for Australia, a peak body for the Not For Profit sector.

From 1995 to 2004 Mr Costello was Minister at Collins Street Baptist Church and Executive Director of Urban Seed, a not-for-profit Christian outreach service for the urban poor.

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 (which was co-written with Royce Millar).

Mr Costello and his wife of 25 years, Merridie, have three adult children, Claire, Elliot and Martin.