The second Roy Bradley Annual Oration was delivered by the Reverend Tim Costello on Sunday November 22nd 2020 by teleconference.
The theme of Tim’s address was ‘Ethical leadership in times of personal risk’.
Leadership in a pandemic world has thrown up different moral choices – broadly between saving life to suppress the virus and or saving the economy. Whatever the moral choice, leaders have expected sacrifices and prescribed extraordinary things such as asking health workers to put themselves at risk to care despite seeing so many become infected. Businesses have been asked to shutter and in doing so smashed many livelihoods and the lifetime investments of honest people who sacrificed and worked hard. Is sacrifice possible without a spirituality that affirms there is an overarching interpretation to the meaning of life? Should leaders address this when emphasising it is now the WE, not the I, and downgrading individualism and personal freedom to urge collective sacrifice? Given loneliness and anxiety are the signatures of this pandemic can there be healing, meaning-making and community through the gift of redemptive relationships?
The Rev Tim Costello is one of Australia’s most respected community leaders. He was named Victorian of the Year in 2004 and made an Officer of the Order of Australia the next year. He was for 13 years, until 2016, the Chief Executive of World Vision Australia. Currently Tim directs Ethical Voice and is Executive Director of Micah Australia, which continues to place the challenges of world poverty on the national agenda. He is also Senior Fellow at the Centre for Public Christianity. Tim has written several books: A Lot with a Little (2019), Faith (2016), Hope (2012).