Tim Costello

2006 (printed 2010)

National Portrait Gallery

National Portrait Gallery

Tim Costello AO (b. 1955), social justice advocate, is the chief advocate of World Vision Australia, after stepping down as the Chief Executive Officer in 2016 after 13 years at the helm. Costello grew up in Melbourne and trained in law and education at Monash before spending four years on a scholarship as a divinity student in Switzerland. Returning to Melbourne to complete his master's in theology, he was ordained a Baptist minister in 1986. He chose to work in St Kilda, then seething with drug addicts, sex workers, homeless and mentally ill people. In 1993 he was elected Mayor of the City of St Kilda, and continued his diatribes against gambling in the new role; the City of St Kilda was merged with others into the City of Port Phillip in 1994. From 1994 to 2003 he was the director of the Christian not-for-profit organisation Urban Seed, based at Collins Street Baptist Church; during this period he was a high-profile campaigner against gambling, and was branded a 'wowser' by the Age. President of the Baptist Union of Australia from 1999 to 2002, he was Victorian of the Year in 2004. His authored and co-authored books include Planning Legislation and Affordable Housing (1992), Tips from a Travelling Soul-Searcher (1999) and Wanna Bet: Winners and Losers in Australia's Luck Myth (2000). His book ‘Faith: Embracing life in all its uncertainty’ was published in 2016. Costello received the Australian Peace Prize in 2008 from the Peace Organisation of Australia, has an honorary doctorate from the Australian Catholic University and is a designated Living National Treasure.

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