Tim Costello

World Vision Australia Chief Advocate

Tim Costello

Rev Tim Costello is one of Australia’s most respected community leaders and a sought after voice on social justice issues, leadership and ethics.  For 13 years until October 2016, Tim was Chief Executive of World Vision Australia (WVA). In his current role as WVA’s Chief Advocate, Tim continues to place the challenges of global poverty on the national agenda. Concurrently this year, Tim is the Executive Director of Micah Australia.


Other positions Tim holds are Chair of the Community Council of Australia; member of the Multi- Stakeholder Steering Committee of the EU-Australia Leadership Forum; member of the SBS Community Advisory Committee: Chief Advocate of the Thriving Communities Partnership; board member for the Campaign for Australian Aid; board member for the Australian National Development Index; Patron of SMSF and Patron of the National Youth Commission. 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.


In earlier roles Tim was National President of the Baptist Union of Australia and Mayor of St Kilda. He has been Baptist Minister at St Kilda Baptist and Collins Street Baptist in Melbourne, as well as Executive Director of Urban Seed.


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


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 (co-written with Royce Millar). Tim and his wife Merridie have three adult children, Claire, Elliot and Martin.