Rev Tim Costello AO

Rev Tim Costello AO is recognised as one of Australia’s leading voices on social justice, leadership and ethics. He has spearheaded public debates on gambling, urban poverty, homelessness, reconciliation and substance abuse.

Most recently with World Vision Australia, Tim has been instrumental in ensuring that the issues surrounding global poverty are placed on the national agenda, firstly in the 13 years until October 2016 as Chief Executive, and recently in his role as Chief Advocate for World Vision Australia.

Tim Costello is Chair of the Community Council of Australia, is a member of the Multi-Stakeholder Steering Committee of the EU-Australia Leadership Forum; the Australian National Development Index and the Campaign for Australian Aid.

Tim is a founding board member and spokesperson for the Alliance for Gambling Reform, which campaigns for law reform to prevent harm from poker machine gambling.

Until recently Tim was the Chair of the NAB’s external Stakeholder forum, on the Executive of the Alcohol Education Research Foundation, a member of the AMP’s Sustainable Funds committee and on the Aid Advisory Council. As Co-Chair he played a prominent role in the Make Poverty History campaign.

For nine years he was the spokesperson for the Interchurch Gambling Taskforce and a member of the National Advisory Body on Gambling. He was also Chairman of the National Church Leaders Problem Gambling taskforce.

In 2006 Tim was named Victoria’s Australian of the Year, in June 2005 he was made an Officer of the Order of Australia(AO) In 2004 was awarded Victorian of the Year; and in 1997 was named as one of Australia’s 100 National Living Treasures.

After studying law and education at Monash University, he studying theology at the International Baptist Seminary in Rueschlikon, Switzerland, He also obtaining his Masters in Theology from the Melbourne College of Divinity.

Tim was ordained a Baptist Minister in 1986. He established a vibrant and socially active ministry at St Kilda Baptist Church between 1986 -1994 and was elected Mayor of St Kilda in 1993.

In 1995 Tim Costello was appointed Minister of Collins Street Baptist Church and Executive Director of Urban Seed, a Christian not-for-profit organisation that provides outreach services and hospitality to the urban poor. It was through this time he was also National President of the Baptist Union of Australia.

His books include Faith (2016), Hope (2012) Another Way to Love (co-edited with Rod Yule); 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 by Royce Millar.

Tim and his wife Merridie have three adult children, Claire, Elliot and Martin.