The McCosker Oration

A significant event on the CSSA calendar is the delivery of the McCosker Oration.  This presentation forms part of the CSSA's Annual Conference or Annual Awards agenda and provides an opportunity to pay tribute to the man who played a leading role in moving the church into the organised provision of welfare.


Monsignor James Francis (Frank) McCosker believed Catholic welfare was about inclusion, rather than exclusion of all people; about critical analysis of Government agendas rather than subservient compliance to them; and about professionalism in welfare rather than well meaning benevolence and dependant charity.

His obituary in the Australian in 1996 declared he was devoted to those people who were mostly unable to help themselves and though he was awarded the OBE, worldly honours did not change him.

In the late 1940s, as director of the Catholic Welfare Bureau in Sydney - later Centacare - McCosker built on the foundation laid in Australia by four professionally trained Catholic lay women social workers: Norma Parker, Connie Moffitt, Eileen Davidson and Mary Lyons.

McCosker ‘s vision and determination led to services like Meals on Wheels, Foster Care, Adoption Practice, the Council of Social Services, Marriage Counselling as part of Matrimonial and Family Law, Child Endowment and National Catholic Welfare.

Each year a member of the community is chosen to present the McCosker Oration which honours Monsignor McCosker who played a significant role in church-state relations in Australia and was truly a founding father of Catholic social services in Australia.

Rev. Tim Costello AO

Rev. Tim Costello AO

McCosker Orator 2013

Rev. Tim Costello, AO, is one of Australia’s most sought after voices on issues of social justice, leadership and ethics. Since 2004 Tim has been CEO of World Vision, Australia’s largest international development agency.

Trained in economics, law, education and theology, Tim has practised law, served as a Baptist minister, and has been active in church and community leadership, local government and national affairs.

Click here to listen or download Rev Tim Costello's McCosker Oration for 2013.

Previous Orations