Tim Costello delivers Whincop Lecture

Tim Costello delivered the Griffith Law School Michael Whincop Memorial Lecture last night.
Tim Costello delivered the Griffith Law School Michael Whincop Memorial Lecture last night.

Tim Costello AO last night delivered the 2013 Griffith Law School Michael Whincop Memorial Lecture.

A large audience packed into the Queensland Conservatorium for the address from arguably Australia’s leading voice on social justice.

In a most timely post-election presentation, the World Vision chief unpacked and analysed the limits of government action and explored the new demands falling on civil society.

This year’s lecture was titled ‘Beyond Government: Renewing Civil Society in the 21st Century’.

He put forward what he sees as the big questions that reach beyond Tony Abbott’s capacity to deliver on election promises and the latest leadership contest embracing Labor.

”We have to lower expectations we have about government; recognise that there are times when government must offer solutions and other times when it must get out of the way; and redefine why civil society is so important,” Mr Costello told Michael Gordon, political editor of The Age, at the weekend.

Tim Costello is also one of the country’s most sought commentators on leadership and ethics, having spearheaded public debates on gambling, urban poverty, homelessness, reconciliation and substance abuse.

Since 2004, as chief executive of World Vision Australia, he has also been instrumental in ensuring that the issues surrounding global poverty are placed on the national agenda.

The Michael Whincop Memorial Lecture was inaugurated in 2004 to honour and celebrate the scholarly contributions that the late Professor Michael Whincop made to legal research.

After joining Griffith Law School in 1994 as a lecturer, he promptly established his credentials and was promoted to full professor in 2002 at the age of 33.

Tim Costello currently serves as Chair of the Community Council of Australia, the Australian Churches Gambling Taskforce and the National Australia Bank’s Social Responsibility Advisory Council. Prior to joining World Vision Australia, Tim served as Minister at the Collins Street Baptist Church in Melbourne, and as Executive Director of Urban Seed, a Christian not-for-profit outreach service for the urban poor.

Tim studied economics, law and education at Monash University, followed by theology at the International Baptist Seminary in Rueschlikon, Switzerland. He also received a Masters Degree in Theology from the Melbourne College of Divinity. He also holds an Honorary Doctorate from the Australian Catholic University.

In 2004, Tim was named Victorian of the Year; in June 2005 he was made an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO); and in 2006 was named Victoria’s Australian of the Year.