Monday, 17 September 2012

Tim Costello: Superhero.

There's a glitch in my computer that I'll never fix. Every single time I look in my photos, this is always the first one I see:

I don't think it was ever downloaded properly, so the boy in the orange singlet keeps popping up in my screen, again and again. It's jolting. No matter what's happening back here in my world, he makes me remember his world over in Niger. Is he still in the camp? Does he live with his parents? Is he sick?

World Vision gave me the gift of being changed by Africa forever. I can never repay them. Being there seems like an age away. I'm in close contact with all the wonderful people at World Vision Australia. They were bold enough to choose me to represent them, and I was bold enough to go. (Instead of a sympathy card recently .... they sent me a blanket. Best idea ever!)

The long and winding, bumpy and dusty road. My African comrades: radio host Steffi from Germany, me from Australia, blogger Kim from Korea.

Today I'm going to Sydney for a meeting with Tim Costello. Tim is a minister, a lawyer, a teacher. A huge voice for social justice issues, he's worked as an advocate for the homeless, reconciliation, and spoken up against gambling and gun control. Tim has raised awareness and public discourse around drug abuse, alcohol awareness, and rehabilitation. Victorian of the Year in 2004, Officer of the Order of Australia in 2005, and Australian of the Year in 2006, and so much more ... the guy is a LEGEND. One of the best humanitarians this country has ever seen.

Tim Costello has been CEO of World Vision Australia for eight years now. He's a dedicated, passionate, intelligent man. It's going to be a huge honour to meet him. (We were supposed to meet two months ago, but I had to cancel. I'm sure he understood.)

We'll be talking about the good that social media and blogging can do. There's been so much talk in the press lately about the scourge of the internet age, especially TWITTER TROLLS! It's going to be really nice to sit down with an accomplished, extraordinary man and focus on some positive aspects of what can be achieved online.

I'll tell him about Queenslander Cate Bolt .. all of the incredible work she does for her Foundation 18 orphanage.  And how two of her own children, Ailish and Ash, are environmental superheroes with their own Planet You. I'll tell him about twitter causes, blogging for social good, real issues that this online community tackles and raises awareness around.

Things that mean things ... that's what I like to see in my life, on and offline. Things that have value and meaning.

Tim is not only all of those important things ... he was also on a boat.

Not sure I understand the penguin reference. 

The first thing I'll ask Tim is about his own recent trip to Niger, to raise awareness of the West African Food Crisis Appeal.

The second thing I'll ask Tim is ....

..... what was he thinking as he sat on the couch looking at the singer of the best band in the world? What happened during this meeting for the Make Poverty History campaign in 2010 ... any gossip? Did Bono smell nice? When's he coming to back to Australia? Tim, did Bono say anything about me?  (I had JUST met him.)

We might talk a little bit about World Vision, too.

                                                  Sponsor a child

There's a whole heap of World Vision buttons and banners HERE

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