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

Ian Campbell 17 June 2019
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.”

Tim Costello talks about stepping away from World Vision and what we can do to give back.

Posted by The Project on Friday, 7 June 2019

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 memoir is on sale now from Candelo Books, Bega and will be available on the day for signing.

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.

Hope to see you there! With less than two weeks to go, tickets are selling.


The Festival for Open Minds opens on Friday, September 13 with the free community celebration in the heart of Bega – Parklight. The speakers and ideas program follows on Saturday, September 14 at the Bega Civic Centre.

The full program and run down for the day will be announced shortly, stay in touch via the festival website.

Tickets and Saturday lunch options are on sale now via Eventbrite. High schoolers 12 to 19 years are FREE. Students there on the day will also be in the running to win $500 to put towards a science education experience of their choice thanks to The Sapphire Coast Regional Science Hub and Inspiring Australia.

Running with the theme ‘People with Oomph’ on Saturday’s program includes:

  • Tim Costello, Chief Advocate, World Vision;
  • Nas Campanella, blind Triple J newsreader;
  • Pastor Christie Buckingham, spiritual counselor to executed Bali 9 drug smuggler Myuran Sukumaran;
  • Aly Khalifa, entrepreneur focused on harvesting plastic waste from our oceans;
  • Emma Booth, para-equestrian competitor, represented Australia at the 2016 Rio Paralympics;
  • Alasdair Tremblay-Birchall, comedian, joke writer, grew up in Tathra;
  • Sassi Nuyum, aka Meaghan Holt, rising Aboriginal writer, performer;
  • Corrine Gibbons, songstress and choir director;
  • Jonathan Kenna, Australia’s Ambassador to Sweden;
  • Captain Phil Holliday, Sydney, Port Kembla and Eden Harbour Master;
  • Damon Davis, long singer-songwriter and the original man of oopmh;
  • A local panel of leaders including Erica Dibden – Tilba Milk, Louise Brand – road safety campaigner, Kate Toyer – Moruya vet and transgender advocate,  Warren Foster Jr – Aboriginal artist and leader.

Thank you to our Festival partners – 

What's Your Opinion?

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

Kerryn Pascoe Kerryn Pascoe 4:44 am 18 Jun 19

A wonderful, compassionate man...

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