Tim Costello

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

The Reverend
Tim Costello
Tim Costello 2010-06-20 (cropped).JPG
Born (1955-03-04) 4 March 1955 (age 64)
ReligionChristianity (Baptist)
SpouseMerridie Costello
Alma materMonash University
International Baptist Seminary Rueschlikon
Melbourne College of Divinity
ChurchSt Kilda Baptist, Collins Street Baptist
Senior posting
PostPresident of the Baptist Union of Australia (1999–2002)

Timothy Ewen "Tim" Costello AO (born 4 March 1955[1]) is an Australian Baptist minister and the current Chief Advocate of World Vision Australia. Costello is the brother of Peter Costello, the former treasurer of Australia and Federal Member for Higgins.[2]

Early life[edit]

Costello was born in Melbourne, where he grew up in the suburb of Blackburn[2] and was educated at Carey Baptist Grammar School.[3] He is a descendant of Irish immigrant Patrick Costello, who was expelled from the Parliament of Victoria in the 1860s for electoral fraud.[4][5][6]

Costello studied at Monash University, graduating with a Bachelor of Jurisprudence degree[7] in 1976, a Bachelor of Laws in 1978 and a Diploma of Education in 1979.[8]



Costello practised as a solicitor in family and criminal law.[9]


In 1981, Costello travelled to Switzerland with his wife, Merridie, where they both studied theology at the International Baptist Seminary Rueschlikon near Zurich, before graduating with a Bachelor of Divinity and returning to Australia to become the minister of St Kilda Baptist Church.[1] He also received a Master of Theology from Whitley College, a theological college of the Melbourne College of Divinity.[10]

Ordained as a Baptist minister in 1987, Costello, along with his wife Merridie and a team of others, rebuilt the congregation at the St Kilda Baptist Church and opened a drop-in centre.[1] As part of the church's outreach program, he started a legal office at the church where he practised as a part-time solicitor.[11] He also taught urban ministry at Whitley College, a college of the University of Melbourne.[11]

From 1995 to 2003, Costello was a minister of the Collins Street Baptist Church and the executive director of Urban Seed, a Christian not-for-profit organisation created in response to concern about homelessness, drug abuse and the marginalisation of the city's street people.[1]

Costello served as the president of the Baptist Union of Australia from 1999 to 2002.[12] He has also been patron of Baptist World Aid Australia, a member of the Australian Earth Charter Committee, a council member of the Australian Centre for Christianity and Culture, a spokesperson for the Interchurch Gambling Taskforce, a member of the National Advisory Body on Gambling and a member of the Alcohol Education and Rehabilitation Foundation.

From 2004 to 2016, Costello was CEO of World Vision Australia,[13] where his remuneration in 2012 was $258,718 AUD[12][14]). He received the Victorian of the Year award in July 2004 in recognition of his public and community service. He was made an officer of the Order of Australia in June 2005[12] and was the Victorian nominee for the Australian of the Year award in 2006.[15] He is the 2008 winner of the Australian Peace Prize awarded by the Peace Organisation of Australia.[16] He is also listed by the National Trust as a "National Living Treasure".[2]

Political career[edit]

Costello was elected Mayor of St Kilda Council in 1993 and became well known for championing the cause of local democracy and for his clashes with the Premier of Victoria, Jeff Kennett.[1] Kennett attacked Costello as being un-Victorian for speaking out against the gaming-led recovery of the state and often referred to him as "that leftist cleric".[1] Costello's political career ended when his mayoral position was abolished with the whole St Kilda Council in Kennett's reform and consolidation of local government in 1994. Towards the end of that time, he was approached by the Australian Democrats political party to fill a casual vacancy in the Senate, but decided against it, partly due to the likelihood that this could place him in direct conflict with his brother if Peter became Treasurer.[17]

Costello was an elected delegate at the Australian Constitutional Convention in Canberra in February 1998.[3] Throughout the late 1990s and early 2000s, he was frequently seen in the Australian national media commenting on gambling and other social problems. He also has spoken out in favour of stronger gun control in Australia, acting at times as the co-chairman or spokesman of the National Coalition for Gun Control.[18]


In 2008, Costello received an honorary doctorate from the Australian Catholic University in recognition of "his contributions to religious life and social justice".[19]


  • Costello, Tim; Riddell, Michael; Gill, Athol; Nichols, Alan; U'ren, John; Duncan, Michael; Corney, Peter; Ministry in an Urban World: Responding to the City, Acorn Press, ACT, 1991, ISBN 0-908284-10-1
  • Costello, Tim, Streets of Hope: Finding God in St Kilda Allen & Unwin, 1997, ISBN 978-1-86448-890-6
  • Costello, Tim, Tips from a Travelling Soul Searcher Allen & Unwin, 1999, ISBN 978-1-86508-225-7
  • Costello, Tim and Millar, Royce, Wanna Bet? Winners and Losers in Gambling's Luck Myth, Allen & Unwin, Sydney, 2000. ISBN 1-86508-371-2
  • Costello, Tim and Yule, Rod, Another Way to Love, Acorn Press, 2009, ISBN 978-0-908284-82-5
  • Costello, Tim, Hope, Hardie Grant Books, 2012, ISBN 978-174270375-6


  1. ^ a b c d e f "Tim Costello". Talking Heads. ABC. Archived from the original on 3 August 2011. Retrieved 9 March 2012.
  2. ^ a b c Farouque, Farah (16 November 2006). "Oh brother! Costellos bump up against each other again". The Age. Archived from the original on 17 August 2017. Retrieved 9 March 2012.
  3. ^ a b "Bean counter to spill some of the beans". The Sydney Morning Herald. 14 July 2005. Archived from the original on 24 September 2015. Retrieved 9 March 2012.
  4. ^ Browne, Geoff; Cunningham, Jackie (2005). "Biography – Patrick Costello". Australian Dictionary of Biography. Melbourne University Press. Archived from the original on 2 August 2013. Retrieved 24 July 2013.
  5. ^ Coslovich, Gabriella (16 July 2006). "The ancestor who gave Peter Costello that smirk". The Age. Fairfax Media. Archived from the original on 6 September 2013. Retrieved 24 July 2013.
  6. ^ Maiden, Samantha (29 January 2010). "Infamous Costello smirk "a cover for insecurity over bad teeth"". The Australian. Archived from the original on 18 June 2014. Retrieved 24 July 2013.
  7. ^ Resignation of Professor D. P. Derham, Dean of the Faculty of Law
  8. ^ "Mr Tim Costello AO". Prominent Alumni. Monash University. Archived from the original on 29 March 2012. Retrieved 9 March 2012.
  9. ^ Desmond, Rosemary. "A Pragmatic Idealist". 50 Something. National Seniors. Archived from the original on 22 March 2012. Retrieved 9 March 2012.
  10. ^ "World Vision's Rev Tim Costello". ABC Queensland. Archived from the original on 5 February 2008. Retrieved 9 March 2012.
  11. ^ a b Costello, Timothy (ed) (1991). Ministry in an Urban World: Responding to the City. ACT: Acorn Press. ISBN 0-908284-10-1.CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list (link)
  12. ^ a b c "Our CEO – Tim Costello". World Vision Australia. Archived from the original on 11 May 2015. Retrieved 9 March 2012.
  13. ^ Williams, Wendy (9 May 2016). "The End of an Era: Tim Costello to Step Down as World Vision CEO". Probono Australia. Archived from the original on 20 December 2016. Retrieved 13 December 2016.
  14. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 28 February 2014. Retrieved 21 April 2013.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link) page 38
  15. ^ "Reverend Tim Costello AO Victoria Australian of the Year 2006 – Recipient". Australian of the Year. Archived from the original on 17 March 2012. Retrieved 9 March 2012.
  16. ^ "Peace Prize Winner Tim Costello in Conversation with Archbishop Philip Freier". Christianity Today. Archived from the original on 27 September 2009. Retrieved 9 March 2012.
  17. ^ Costello, Tim (1999). Tips from a travelling soul-searcher. Allen & Unwin. pp. 55–57. ISBN 1-86508-225-2.
  18. ^ Hudson, Phillip (25 October 2002). "Handgun curbs on the way". The Age. Archived from the original on 23 October 2012. Retrieved 9 March 2012.
  19. ^ "Reverend Tim Costello AO". Alumni. Australian Catholic University. Archived from the original on 19 April 2012. Retrieved 10 March 2012.

External links[edit]