Reverend Tim Costello AO

Chief Advocate World Vision


Reverend 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 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.



The great abolitionist, Frederick Douglass said, “it is easier to build strong children than to fix broken men.” In an increasingly divided world, building strong children is a bigger challenge than ever. In the opening keynote, Rev. Tim Costello will share his insights and experience from decades spent working with communities around the world to highlight how we can build the foundation and set the framework so that our boys can grow into truly strong men, ready to contribute to a more just and equal world. In doing so, Rev. Costello will focus on the importance of helping boys find their purpose–the rudder that sets the course of their life. Building on that foundation, Rev. Costello will then consider how we help give boys the framework that will allow them to build a life that fulfils that purpose.