What can Australians do to make the world a better and fairer place?
Delivering this year's Gandhi Oration is Chief Advocate of World Vision Australia Tim Costello.
Tim Costello’s work has always involved helping others, but the religious beliefs that motivate him are complemented by a strong dose of real-world practicality. An activist for social justice, he has not been afraid to call out powerful interests that contribute to poverty and misery. Gambling, alcohol and gun violence have been some of his targets. At World Vision Australia, he focuses on global and indigenous issues and on inspiring Australians to help alleviate poverty, fight disease and support education in communities around the world.
At a time when Australians are wealthier than ever, how does he think we should contribute to social justice and making the world a better and fairer place?
The Gandhi Oration annual hosted by UNSW on or near India’s Martyrs’ Day, the 30th of January, which is the anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi’s assassination in 1948. The Oration is delivered by person making a significant contribution to major human rights issues of our time. Speakers have included Indian journalist Shoma Chaudhury, author Dr Hugh Mackay AO, Australian journalist Peter Greste and Senator Pat Dodson delivered the inaugural oration in 2012.
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 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.
Tim and his wife Merridie have three adult children, Claire, Elliot and Martin.