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Tim Costello

Tim Costello
Tim's efforts as one of the key public faces of the Asian tsunami appeal were outstanding, reminding all of us that, even in the face of such momentous calamity, we are not alone. He was quick to be on the ground after the disaster, leading by example in giving hope and help to those who needed it most. Tim is a great advocate at home and a wonderful ambassador abroad for the best that is in all of us.

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. In 1995 he was appointed a Minister of the Collins Street Baptist Church and the Executive Director of Urban Seed, a Christian not-for-profit organization created in response to concern about homelessness, drug abuse and the marginalisation of the city’s street people. Urban Seed offers hospitality to those at the margins of society, providing outreach to the disadvantaged and includes a lunch program, which feeds around 50-80 people each day.

In February 2004 Mr Costello accepted the role as Chief Executive of World Vision, Australia’s largest overseas aid organisation, having been drawn to the organisation’s philosophy of helping the poorest of the poor. In this current 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.

In July 2004, Mr Costello was named 2004 Victorian of the Year in recognition of his years of public and community service. In addition in November 2005 Tim was awarded the Victorian Division winner of the Australian of the Year. 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”.

Tim’s current speaking commitments take him all over Australia.