Tim Costello to bring a world of experience to the Festival of Open Minds

Tim Costello. Photo: Supplied.

Tim Costello. Photo: Supplied.

When the Rev Tim Costello said “yes” to coming to Bega for the Festival of Open Minds the About Regional team did a little dance.

Tim is one of Australia’s most respected community leaders and a sought after voice on social justice issues, leadership and ethics – a person with serious oomph, and one we know will leave a mark on our community.

For 13 years until October 2016, Tim was Chief Executive of World Vision Australia. Until recently he was Chief Advocate for the organisation, and now during his ‘retirement’, Tim continues to place the challenges of global poverty on the national agenda.

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 the Self Managed Super Fund professional body and Patron of the National Youth Commission.

He is currently the Executive Director of the Christian aid organisation – Micah Australia.

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, he was named Victorian of the Year; and in 1997 was named as one of Australia’s 100 National Living Treasures.

What will Tim touch on in Bega? Perhaps it will be a reflection on his career, what he has learned about humankind in those decades, and what we can do to shape a future we can all take part in and be proud of.

In announcing his retirement from World Vision earlier this month Tim said, “World Vision is a bit like Hotel California – you can check in but it’s hard to check out.”


Reflecting on his time in some of the world’s most desperate communities and terrifying times, Tim said, “I believe in going to the toughest places and saying we will know your name and you matter.”

Tim remains committed to humanity and he brings a powerful life of experience with him to Bega for the Festival of Open Minds on September 14. Tim’s soon to be released memoir will be available for sale and signing on the day through Candelo Books.

Check the Festival website to explore our stellar line up of speakers so far and to grab your early bird tickets, students 12 to 19 years are free.

The theme for Open Minds in 2019 is ‘People With Oomph’ inspired by Bega Valley song man Damon Davis and his song of the same name.

“People with oomph – they’re not lyin down. People with oomph – spread the good life. People with oomph – keep their own style. People with oomph – walk mile after mile,” Damon sings.

The Festival aims to pull together national and local ideas with the aim of strengthening regional communities and providing an opportunity normally only available to country people via a tollway or airport check-in lounge. We’d love to make you a part of the day.

About Regional is on a mission to create, deepen and share local stories, conversations, and ideas, events like the Festival of Open Minds are a key part of our ambitions for Southern NSW.

Thank you to our Festival partners – Julie Rutherford Real Estate at BermaguiBega Valley Commemorative Civic CentreBega Valley Library ServiceBega Valley Regional GalleryTathra Beachhouse ApartmentsBega Valley Innovation HubNorth of Eden Gin, and Tilba Real Dairy.

Original Article published by Ian Campbell on About Regional.