Sunday, December 28, 2008

Tim Costello

I first came across Tim Costello's name while researching Sarah Hanson-Young. Now (like usual) I can't remember who he is.

Help me, Lord Wiki!

Well, it turns out that Tim is Peter's brother! I'm a bit surprised about that. I figured the same last name was just a coincidence. Although, I think when I wrote about Peter Costello, I might have mentioned him having a Baptist minister as a brother.

I didn't put two and two together when I was reading about Hanson-Young.

My excuse? My little brain is a bit overloaded with information.


Let's start.

Tim is Peter's older brother. There's about a 2.5 years age difference.

Little Timothy was born on 4 March 1955.

Birthday Website time!

At this moment (that I'm writing this) Costello is 28, 306, 801 minutes old! That's a lot of minutes.

He's a 9 in numerology and a Pisces. I would think of that type of person as being a spiritual humanitarian. That might fit this Tim Costello.

Speaking of numerology, it has come to my attention that this birthday website does not count 22's. It marks them as being a 4. So some of these people I've labeled as 4's might really be 22. 22 is an AWESOME number. I haven't checked back on all the 4's, but I did calculate Howard Holt's number. I think he's a 22. Michael, you might be a 22. Maybe?

Little Tim went to the same school in Victoria as his brother. Carey Baptist Grammar School. Although they don't use the label, it seems their early childhood program is yet another one to use a Reggio Emilia approach. It actually sounds like a very lovely school. It's very Christian and they emphasize spirituality and faith. Yet, they're also open to the fact that some people believe in other things.

Tim and Peter also went to the same university. Monash University. They both got a degree in law. In the late 1970's, Tim Costello was a solicitor in family and criminal law. He then went to Switzerland with his wife. They studied theology. Interesting. Did he got there with this plan in mind? Or did something change and inspire him when he was in Switzerland?

Costello was ordained as a Baptist Minister in 1987. He helped rebuild the Baptist congregation in St. Kilda. Lord Wiki says he continued to do legal work--helping those who would not easily be able to obtain legal assistance.

Like his brother, Tim got himself involved with politics. For a short time, he was mayor of the St. Kilda council. As mayor, he had conflicts with the Premier of Victoria, Jeff Kennett. It seems that even though they went to the same schools and had the same family, Peter and Tim had different political ideologies. Tim Costello seems much more on the left than his younger brother. That's one of the reasons, Kennett didn't like Tim.

Lord Wiki says that from 1995-2003, Costello was minister of the Collins Street Baptist Church in Melbourne. The church website has a heartwarming story of how they helped some asylum seekers. They do a lot for Indigenous Australians. On Sundays, they host a dinner for people who are having financial problems. That's REALLY nice.

I love this. They use a worship program called seasons of creation which emphasizes healing the earth. And they do recycling.

This sounds like a really great church. They do some many great things, including working to abolish the modern slave trade. I think a lot of us assume slavery is part of the past, but there's an estimated 27 million slaves out there. That's incredibly sad.

The church has a program called Urban Seed. Tim Costello was the director of it. The program helps people who are marginalized by society. It seems they do a lot to help substance abusers, including providing needle disposal, overdose help, and assistance to those ready to beat their addiction.

This Costello guy definitely lives up to his numerology number.

He has been a patron of Baptist World Aid. This has a child sponsorship program. He's a member of an ecological organization called Earth Charter Australia. He's a spokesperson against gambling. Lord Wiki says he was seen in the media a lot during the late 1990's and early 2000's regarding this subject.

Costello supports gun control.

He is currently the CEO of World Vision Australia. I think I could totally love this organization. It seems they do a LOT to help the world. They have a tree-planting program called Twice as Green which emphasis sustainable farming and reducing CO2 gases. The main goal is helping families who are suffering from the effects of climate change.

World Vision works to provide clean water to those who need it. They provide emergency relief to people involved in catastrophes. They have an adorable gift program, similar to the one I've seen on Oxfam. I totally love these things. You get to buy things to help people around the world. This one on World Vision even has a gift registry. I'm going to register now.

Or maybe not. The website is a bit slow at the moment.

I'm going to move onto something else. Maybe I'll come back to that.

I love these gift things though. It's such a great alternative to the question of what do you get the person who already has everything. The only thing is.... I'm not sure I feel it's right to give a in lue of gift unless the person asks for it. If someone says they prefer a charitable gift, I'm happy to give it to them. But I would feel weird ordering this type of gift for someone if they didn't request it. I guess it would depend on whether I'm expected to give them a gift. I think I'd be okay giving it to a friend who I normally wouldn't buy a birthday gift for....maybe someone I met online? My family always exchanges gifts on birthdays. It's expected you're going to get SOMETHING. I wouldn't feel right giving them a virtual-type charity gift unless they requested that.

Crap. World Vision might do good things for people in need. But I have to say...their website is driving me a bit insane here. It could be my Internet connection. I don't know.

Okay. This part of their website seems to be working. The evils of chocolate. I've been so bad about this. I'm ashamed. I eat tons of chocolate that comes to me via the exploitation of my fellow human beings. I'm really hoping to stop this. I'm trying to cut out as much sugar as possible from my diet. The past two days, I totally fell off the wagon. I'm going to get myself back up on the wagon. I might let myself cheat every so often (as RARE as possible) but I'm going to try to forbid myself from eating chocolate that's not free trade. Oh no. That means no Max Brenner in Manly. Oh, maybe I'll allow myself that one single evil transgression. Or maybe we'll find an alternate fair trade chocolate shop. I don't even think the food at Max Brenner is that delicious. I think it's just the idea of it all that appeals to me.

The interesting thing is World Vision says NOT to boycott the chocolates because this will hurt the farming families even more. I can see their point...a little bit. We stop buying and these families will be completely out of work. Maybe? World Vision says what we should do instead is campaign against the practice with the big evil chocolate companies. The problem is they did this and it seems the big evil chocolate companies didn't give much of a positive response. I like their other suggestion better--put more of our support into fair trade chocolate. This can be hard because it's so expensive. For the price of one fair trade chocolate bar you can probably buy multiple Nestle Bars. See, and that way you can support both the modern slave trade and the unethical marketing of artificial infant milk with one delicious bite.

Costello was this year's winner of the Australia Peace Price. I think the guy definitely deserves it.

Preventing unhealthy gambling seems to be one of his big passions. He previously was involved with an organization called Know the Odds. The purpose of this group is not lobbying against gambling or telling people that it's bad. Instead, they try to educate people...get them to make an informed decision.

I have mixed feelings about gambling. In my opinion, it's just another way to throw away money. But if you can afford it, and you're playing a game that's fun, I think it's no worse than other ways we throw away money. To me, buying a diamond ring is throwing away money. For other people, it brings them great meaning and joy. An atheist might think it's throwing away money to pay for a tarot card reading or a meeting with a medium. If you believe in that stuff, it's not throwing away money. I think most of us waste money everyday. To me, it's a matter of balance. If someone dedicates a moderate amount of money a year to psychic readings, I see no harm. If they're making huge financial sacrifices to get readings, than something is not right. The same goes for gambling. The problem with most things like that though is addiction can become part of the picture.

Costello has a MySpace page! He last logged in on December 8 and his mood was adventurous. He has 739 MySpace friends.

I'm going to look at Google News now--try to find some current stuff.

Costello recently expressed anger over gambling ads being shown during a Boxing Day cricket game. He said this exposed children to gambling. You've got families and kids here. Of course gambling is part of life, but I think when it's a family cultural event like the Boxing Day Test, the advertising is inappropriate.

This article talks about how charities are not always ethical about how they use their money. It says Costello's salary is more than $250,000 a year. Yikes.

Costello was involved with a campaign that encouraged people not to use government handouts on gambling. I have to say I agree with that. I mean I think it's fine to have a night of fun with a small percentage. But it would be sad if someone blew a significant proportion of the money.

Okay. I'm back at the World Vision gift website. It's working better, but I'm having trouble registering. I think I'm doing something wrong.   I think it's made more for someone who is living in Australia.

I guess I'll do Oxfam instead.


  1. Hey Dina! Sorry I haven't been around in awhile, my PSB obsession (much on the same level as your Australia obsession) has been all-consuming lately. :)

    Anyway, the Costello brothers...hehe, I find them rather interesting too. I find it even more interesting that Tim came out in support of Kevin Rudd during the last election.

    Doesn't World Vision have a US division? I'd be suprised if it didn't.

  2. Tors,


    I've missed you. So, what are you doing with the Pet Shop Boys? Huh? Are you going to start a PSB blog? Or does that official site belong to you??

    Have you become a total groupie?

    It doesn't surprise me that Tim supports Rudd. Well, it probably would have surprised me before I did research on him.

    My family is so different in terms of politics though. I can really relate.

    I didn't even check out to see if World Vision has a US division. Why didn't I think of that?

    Okay, I checked. They do.

  3. While I dislike Peter Costello because of his politics and superior attitude, I am only suspicious about Tim, in a way not yet defined.

    The gift giving thing is growing in popularity. It usually for christmas presents and often discussed before hand. I wonder if it is like child sponsorship, where the whole village gets the benefit rather than an individual child?

  4. I'm a (3+1) 4, Dina.

    People such as Tim Costello give a voice to social issues from a spiritual perspective.

    I think that's good, as long as they don't preach. Church and state should remain separate.

    Australian politicians don't like it, especially when it involves Catholic Bishops, but Costello was probably given some licence in the Howard era because he is Peter's brother.

  5. Well, I'm in the process of collecting every single album/single they ever made. :) I love their music - it speaks to me, can't explain why. Not so sure I love them, personally, although Chris Lowe fascinates me. I suspect he has Asperger's Syndrome too. He only likes one type of music (disco), doesn't like to be touched, doesn't like to be photographed, doesn't give interviews, happily lets his best friend take centre stage... In fact, the symbiotic (and totally platonic!!) relationship between Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe reminds me very much of myself and my best friend.

    Nah, I'm not a crazy fangirl; I've already found plenty of them on the 'net. Crazy fanboys too. ;)
    (aside from being gay, the fact that they're old enough to be my father brings on all sorts of ewwwww....) The official site is theirs, and I believe they maintain/update it themselves, which I find pretty cool.

    Anyway, I could go on all day long, but I digress. Thing is, I'm pretty sure Tim was at least publicly supportive of his brother back in the '04 election. I could be wrong, though.

    So you're coming in February! Shame, I'll be down in Sydney in April.

  6. Andrew: I think it is like child sponsorship in that you're not giving exactly what you imagine you're giving. It's kind of cute and promotional. My mom said she read the fine print on Oxfam. She said even though you might order a donkey for a family, it doesn't mean that's actually what you're paying for.

    I have uneasy feelings about some people too. It's not something I can pinpoint.

    Michael: But Costello doesn't push his religion. Does he? I didn't come across anything like that. I agree about the preaching though. I think it's great to reach out and help people. But if you're doing it in hope to convert more people to Christianity, I think that an be very underhanded.

    On the other hand, I think it would be wrong to discount/ignore someone's contributions to society because they're very religious.

    Tors: It does sound like he might have Aspergers! I wish you were coming in February. That would be awesome. My husband might have to go to Australia for a work thing. We'd of course come with him. I don't think it's going to be April though!!

    I don't listen to a lot of Pet Shop Boys, but I used to be obsessed with the song Go West. They played it at the Sydney Tower...I think? Did we already talk about this? I'm having Deja Vu.

  7. A great supporter of World Vision is is a dual-purpose site for building an English
    vocabulary and raising money for under privileged children in the most
    impoverished places around the world.

    Check it out at

  8. bluesky,

    Awesome! I love these games. I used to play one like it on Facebook!

    Thank you.

  9. Dina, Costello doesn't push his religion. The Catholic bishops don't push religion either when they speak on social issues, but it makes politicians nervous.

    Unlike USA, Australia has a clear division between church, state and the judiciary.

    Those of us who care about such things wonder how the USA can function with elected judges and such influential religious lobbies.

    The Labor Party is particularly wary of the Catholic Church because of the great split in the 1950s. You might enjoy researching it if you haven't already.

    Basically, the Catholic unionists split from the ALP because they thought it was under Communist influence, and they formed the Democratic Labor Party (DLP).

    I probably would have been a DLP supporter if they had still been strong in the late 80s. I was anti-Communist but held Labor values on industrial/economic issues.

    It was a bitter dispute and the scars still exist.

  10. Michael,

    The religious right has a powerful influence on America. Although the rest of us fight hard. I mean we're not living in a country where abortion is illegal. That's one thing.....

    Tim did read a book though that said the whole Iraq war is really a Christian holy war.

    But you have to look at the origins of both our countries. With Australia, Britain was trying to get rid of their convicts. For America, the Pilgrims came by choice because they wanted the freedom to practice their religion. I'm not an expert on American history, but I don't think the Pilgrims were envisioning a land where everyone had religious freedom. I think they pictured a land where THEY had religious freedom. I could be wrong though.

    What happened with the DLP? Did they get back together with the ALP?

  11. I think you're right about the Puritan theory.

    The DLP just faded away. I think their last Senator was elected in 1974.

    They just had an Upper House member elected in Victoria at the last state election though.

    Their industrial wing, the National Civic Council, remained quite powerful in the union movement in Victoria until the 1980s.

  12. Boycott Max Brenner for a different reason: