The
Inspiration
Project

WITH BRENDAN CORR

GUEST Tim Costello

Episode 10

Tim Costello: Episode Summary

On this episode of ‘The Inspiration Project’, Brendan Corr talks to Tim Costello about his time as World Vision CEO, his new book, law vs grace, politics and social justice in Jesus’ name.

Among other things Tim shares:

  • his decision to study theology to become a better lawyer.
  • the relationship between law and grace.
  • what Tim learnt in the gutter from a heroin addict.
  • why Tim describes his life as a puzzle to even himself.
  • that Jesus calls the church to protect children.
  • how universal rights are a legacy of Jesus.
  • tracing the roots of Australians’ generosity.
  • whether Christians should be Left, Right or something else politically.

Tim Costello: Episode Transcript

Sponsor Announcement
This podcast is sponsored by Australian Christian College, a network of schools committed to student wellbeing, character development and academic improvement.

Introduction
Welcome to The Inspiration Project, where well known Christians share their stories to inspire young people in their faith and life. Here’s your host, Brendan Corr.

Brendan Corr
Hi, everybody. Welcome again to another episode of The Inspiration Project. We are delighted to welcome a very special guest. This is an individual who I’ve personally had a long regard for and hold in high esteem, and it’s a bit of a privilege to be able to talk with the Reverend Tim Costello today. Tim is a Baptist minister, graduated probably a few more years ago than he might care to remember with a Bachelor’s degree in divinity and a Masters of theology. Served as the minister at St. Kilda Baptist church before relocating to Collins Street Baptist Church. Been heavily involved in social welfare movements, first starting a legal office, moving into Urban Seed, a not-for-profit organisation run by the Baptist community. Been more recently the CEO of World Vision Australia for a period of about 12 years or so. A position that brought him very much into the focus of the public and representing that very fine organisation. He continues to be involved in issues to do with social welfare and advocating for those less advantaged in our society. Reverend Costello, welcome to our podcast. It’s great to have you here.

Tim Costello
Thank you, Brendan. I’m delighted to be with you.

Brendan Corr
That’s quite a full bio that I’ve read out for you. How have you managed to fit so much into the relatively short span of that period of service?

Tim Costello
Well, I’ll share with you my secret. I’ve lived a long time. I’m a dinosaur that’s still walking the earth. Maybe your young people think I should be extinct, but here I am, and if you’ve lived a long time, you do have the privilege of doing twice your duty.

Brendan Corr
I do think you’re underselling yourself a little bit there, but I’ll take that as some self-deprecation. Reverend Costello, clearly you began your public service as a Minister, Minister of religion. Can you tell us a little bit about what led you to that vocation? What was it that took you to that first opportunity to study over in Switzerland?

Tim Costello
Yeah. The story’s a little bit more complex. I began as a lawyer and I wanted to go and study theology to be a better lawyer. I was doing criminal law and every client I defended had totally repented before going to court and they were never going to do crime again I’d kick them out of prison only to see them going back often for a life of crime. And that was depressing to me. I was also doing family, matrimonial law, where couples who loved each other had separated and were often scratching each other’s eyes out over the property, over furniture, or access custody to the kids.

Tim Costello
And as a Christian lawyer, I thought, “I need to study theology.” I came back with a theological degree from Switzerland and opened my legal practise in a small church in St. Kilda, inner city Melbourne. Only had eight members, all elderly. They agreed to let me open up a legal practise in the church if I’d be their minister. So still back then my vision was to be a Christian lawyer, just as what the Bible, prophets, and Jesus and Paul talked about was my passion. And so I slowly morphed from law to grace. It took a long time to move permanently that way, but that’s the story.

Brendan Corr
That’s quite a profound story that you, in a very practical sense, live with those two conceptions of law and grace. Do you see those things being at opposite ends of a spectrum or as dichotomy? Complimentary? How do you understand them?

Tim Costello
Yeah, both are realities in our lives. Law is that ordering of life so there isn’t chaos and anarchy. Even in countries with dictators and tyrants, order is still preferable to anarchy, and therefore law is really about that. Grace is that dimension that’s particularly gospel and Jesus. It’s that sense of we aren’t going to get what we deserve because God gives us a second chance. Because God sees that there is opportunity to learn, to repent, to change, to experience gift. Pure gift. That’s what grace is. So I’m running a legal practise and defending people was really about the law end. They were in trouble with the law. The ministry and the church was the grace end. And your lives can be transformed, and you can be a different person than the person who was in trouble with the law. That’s how I merged those two for, really, 15 years as a minister and as a lawyer in my work.

Brendan Corr
Did you find that acquiring your bachelor of divinity and understanding at a more theoretical level the doctrines of grace, did it change the way you practised law?

Tim Costello
Yeah, very much. And it wasn’t just the theological stuff. It was the fact that I was already a Christian and I already knew that boy, do I need grace. Boy, do people need grace. We all know that the law is necessary, but law doesn’t have the power to transform. Law has the power to discipline, punish, correct, but transformation comes from within, and that’s what grace is about. And encounter in my case with Jesus, reflecting on that in my theological studies, realising that I could do the lawyering bit, but people needed more. They needed to know who they were created by God, what their purposes were, why their lives were stuffing up and going wrong. So, law and grace actually were under the same church roof out of my ministry.

Brendan Corr
In a very practical sense, literal sense. Reverend Costello, it’s wonderful to hear that, well, you’ve made referencing in that comment that you didn’t just understand the theory of grace, that you understood it by experience. Can you tell us a bit about that? What were the points in your life where you experienced grace, and owned that, or understood it as part of your reality?

Tim Costello
Yeah. Look, I was blessed to grow up in a Christian family. So the concept of grace, even the practise of grace, was there in my home. I don’t take for granted the fact of having a loving family. I know so many people come from families where there’s been divorce. There’s sometimes been domestic violence. There’s often been a lack of love. So in some ways the grace was first experienced by parents who love God, who love me, who could discipline me, but also show that there was a thing called acceptance, not based on me doing better. Often Christianity is heard by people outside as, “You failed and you should do better and you must try harder.” Actually, that’s a deformed view of Christianity. Christianity is, “You failed because you lost an encounter with the God who made you with the purposes for which He’s made you.” Those purposes, in this understanding of faith, say you will fail and God will forgive, and he will give you opportunity to actually experience unconditional acceptance so that you can be set free at another level, at a high level, to live and work according to God’s purpose. So for me, grace started in the family. Very practically, I learned in my early legal practise, but I wasn’t too different from the people I was representing. I might have a law degree, I might have a respectable life, but the nasties were inside me: envy, and resentment, and careerism, of greed. And grace actually deals with me acknowledging those nasties and handing my life back to God, and it happens daily. It happened in a born again experience for me in my teenage years. But those things are daily. This God who accepts me, even though I sin a wonderful book by Philip Yancey who said, “God loves me no matter what I do, God doesn’t love me less because of what I’ve done. He loves me. Period, end of sentence.” That, for me, is grace. That has been life changing for me.

Brendan Corr
Amen. That’s wonderful. So you mentioned that you had a personal, transformative experience with God’s grace in your teenage years. That would have been at the stage where you were deciding on a career, deciding on what life was to have for you. Did it play a role in your choosing the law as where you intended to explore your profession?

Tim Costello
Yeah, absolutely. The truth is that there are two, I think, fundamental things that I realised. The first was I’m not just a biological freak in a cosmic zoo, a random set of cells and atoms that at some point woke up and developed consciousness, but I was made by God. I’m not self invented, I’m created. And that sense that I am created then leads to, “Well, who is this God who’s created me? Does this God have purposes for my life?” So in my born again conversion story, it was really an awakening of saying, “This God who’s created me has a purpose for my life, and it’s not random, and it’s not by chance.” I remember thinking this when in my Urban Seed days, I sat in the gutter, literally, with a heroin addict. We had opened a drug detoxification centre because heroin was awash in the streets of Melbourne. People dying from heroin overdoses were higher than the road tole. And I said to this person, trying to convince him to get into our detox centre, “You know what? I believe God made you.” What amazed me was he just burst into tears. And I thought, “Oh, he’s not religious. Maybe I’ve offended him.” Through the tears he blurted out, “God made me! My old man told me I’m just an accident.” He said, “I’ve only ever thought I was an interruption. A burden. God made me!” This was a novel thought. Now, in my coming to Christ, that’s the foundation of my opening up my life to Christ, that God made me, and He has a purpose for my life. And this sense of being redeemed, saved, the words we use, is saved for what? Saved for the purpose that God made me for, because He made me, and He knows what’s best for my life. So yeah, that was all happening in that conversion experience.

Brendan Corr
And so what was going on for you at school that pointed you towards legal studies or the legal profession?

Tim Costello
Well, it was more what was going on in terms of my reading the Bible. I started reading the Bible as a love letter from God, and I started to read the prophets, and let justice roll down like a mighty river. And when you haven’t cared for the widow, the stranger, we call that the refugee, the orphan. In biblical language, you mock God, because God’s image is seen in thee. So, I started to actually have a picture of justice as being the purposes of God for the world. I chose law because I understood law could be a way of delivering justice. I was to discover that often law is just commercial and just about business. But for me, the choice to do law came out of my faith that God’s purposes for the world include justice. They include mercy, they include charity, acts of love, but the demand of justice is absolutely fundamental. And Jesus stood in the shoes of those prophets proclaiming the reign of God. So for me, it wasn’t even so much school and saying, “Oh, law pays well. Law’s got great prestige. Wow, I’ll be able to show people a business card and they’ll go, you’re a lawyer. Wow, that’s great.” It was actually connected to my faith and my understanding of the Bible I was reading.

Brendan Corr
You’re describing something that, if I’m understanding your perspective, is shaping a very different or very grand conception of the law. I think there’s a lot of people who would think that law is about executing justice. You’re describing something that’s more about crafting just structures, just institutions, a just society. Could you see a difference in those understandings of what the law is about?

Tim Costello
Yeah, so law is used in many terms. God’s law. The 10 commandments at Sinai include what we might call criminal matters: thou shalt not kill. They include moral matters: thou shalt not covet thy neighbours donkey, or covet just their neighbours car because it’s a better car than ours. They include moral matters that are personal: thou shalt not commit adultery. So law is used in a very wide range. Certainly, law in civil and criminal matters that I was trained as a lawyer, law is executing justice. It’s an execution based on that moral and spiritual law that I saw also in the Bible. Justice and the laws that govern Israel that said show generosity to the stranger, the refugee who is not Jewish. So law is used in big and small senses, executing justice of the architecture of what God wants for the world.

Brendan Corr
Yeah, that’s good. I started that train of our conversation by asking had your study of theology, or your experience of grace, changed the way you do law. Can I flip that question around the other way? Has your experience or your understanding of law changed the way you serve as a minister?

Tim Costello
Yeah, absolutely. I think that my understanding of law then said yes Christians are to obey the authorities, to live law-abiding lives, but that’s the minimum bar. The higher bar for Christians is to proclaim there is a God. We’re not self-invented, we’re created. We’re not self sufficient. In the Coronavirus, haven’t we learned that. Every single one of us is vulnerable. Tom Hanks, Boris Johnson, lots of famous people get COVID-19. That actually the understanding of the higher bar of Christian calling is to know who made us, to walk humbly with that God in a relationship. To do acts of mercy, to love justice, that this is the higher bar. And grace, for me, is the highest bar. It says, “I’m not even going to get what I deserve, because this is the God who loves extravagantly, who is generous in forgiveness. Who gives me a second, a third, and a fourth chance.” So absolutely, the two, law and grace, have influenced how I practise ministry.

Brendan Corr
Yeah, that’s very good. Reverend Costello, this may be a little bit more of a personal question. You have had opportunities to be recognised as a significant leader in various points of your career and your service: president of the Baptist union, a member of the Australian earth charter committee, Victorian of the Year, significant delegate member to the community Office of the Order of Australia. What is it that you think that God has placed in you that has allowed you to exercise those leadership gifts in those various ways?

Tim Costello
Yeah. I have just written my memoir, A Lot With A Little, where I am reflecting on all of that because I think for all of us, certainly when you get to my age, you look back and life’s a bit of a puzzle. You’re actually a puzzle to yourself. I didn’t set out to win any of those honours or awards. There wasn’t a career ladder that I was finding saying, “Each run, I’m getting paid more. More social status.” It was more a ladder of calling. I’m called to be a Christian. I’m called to proclaim that this God who made the world has purpose for my life, for our lives. I’m called to say to people, “There is grace when we stumble and fall.” So at one level, my life’s a puzzle. As to why secular bodies have recognised and given me honours, they’re all very lovely. But at another level they weren’t my aim. They weren’t my ambition. My aim has always been to be faithful to Jesus, to follow Him. And so you do look at those honours that you pointed out with an eye of surprise, a puzzle, of saying, “Well, at the end of the day, we only live our life really with an audience of one. That audience is God. And God sees all. God knows my frailties, my fumbles, my failures, and yet that God still loves me.” That actually is the explanation when I’ve written my memoir, A Lot With A Little, about my life.

Brendan Corr
Yeah, that’s terrific. The notion of action seems to be prevalent in your life. That you hold convictions, you form beliefs, but they impel you to do things. Is that part of your makeup or is that something that you have learned to discipline yourself to do?

Tim Costello
Yeah, I guess it’s part of my makeup. As I say, I think all of us are a puzzle to ourselves, and you almost need people outside who know you best to describe who you are because you live within the bubble of your own self and you go, “There are things that stir me. I feel that this is unjust, that I must act. Why do I get stirred in that way and I look at others who don’t?” That’s the makeup, I guess. I think that’s the best way to answer your question, Brendan. I can’t explain it otherwise.

Brendan Corr
Those actions, taking those decisions that you described, however big they might’ve been or however intimate for you they were about being faithful to your call, your sense of purpose, they’ve carried you into some arenas where there’s been a lot of counter-ideas, contentious ideas. Do you think that there is a place for Christianity to be manifest in the public discourse in the public policy?

Tim Costello
Yes, I do. Look, I think we are living in times where brand church got trashed by the Royal Commission into abuse of children, and we have to say that there was some terrible failures by denominational leaders who knew about priests and sometimes pastors abusing kids and hid that fact and moved them around didn’t say no. It’s very clear. Jesus said, “Whoever hurts one of these little ones, better a millstone put around his neck. These children that such as men belong the kingdom of God.” Therefore, protecting children shouldn’t just be the job of all adults. It’s particularly the job of those who follow Jesus, and there was failure. So it’s understandable that in the public realm there has been some whiplash. People have looked at the church and said, “You did not walk your talk, and now you want to lecture us, and you want to tell us what’s right or wrong. Go back and sort out your own nest.” There’s been some of that. But by and large, even though many Christians perceive, and I do, secular hostility, secular hostility is not the same as persecution. I don’t think Christians are persecuted in Australia. I can take you to many countries I’ve visited where Christians really are persecuted, and it’s really quite terrible in terms of the hostility that imprisons, and sometimes takes their lives. I think in Australia hostility is different to persecution. Secular hostility is more, well, are you telling us you’re better because you know the truth and then we look at where you failed and you don’t seem better than us? So when you were walk your talk, actually we’ll get it. So having said that, I still think Christians are having a great influence in the public space. We have a Christian Prime Minister. There are Christians in the other parties including Labour. In fact, in parliament, there is a higher proportion of Christians, who identify as Christians, than in the nation as a whole.

Brendan Corr
Is that right?

Tim Costello
So when it comes to actual leadership, Christians are there. They are there. And I think we sometimes have a persecution mentality that overtakes us which is, “Oh, we’re all just being persecuted.” Yeah, there’s some secular hostility, but it’s not the same as persecution.

Brendan Corr
Do you think Christianity as a philosophy, as an approach to understanding the world, stacks up? Does it hold its own in the marketplace of ideas?

Tim Costello
Absolutely. I think that human rights actually come from Jesus. Frederic Nietzsche, who was a German philosopher, called Christianity a slave religion and a slave morality. He said, “Why would you care for the weak, the poor, the dispossessed? It’s the strong and the talented who create excellence and do the most for the world.” Well, secular human rights come from Jesus, who actually preached good news for the poor, liberty for captives. Whose last serious teaching before the cross that’s found in Matthew 25 was, “Lord, when did we say you hungry, or naked, or in prison? When you visited the least of these,” Jesus says, “You did this to me.” Now, Nietzsche called that a slave morality. Why would you bother with the hungry, the naked, the homeless, those in prison?” Well, Christianity actually stacks up, because secular human rights, universal rights, indivisible rights, dignity for all, actually is a profound legacy of Jesus. So I certainly think it stacks up. Secular people often don’t realise this, but this is where their source of values come from also.

Brendan Corr
Do you think that matters? Do you think that a society that values caring for those that are weak and frail, do you think it matters whether they recognise that they are sourced in the love of God originally? Or is it good to have compassion in a society and care and welfare just because they’re good things in themselves?

Tim Costello
Yeah, I certainly think it matters. I think if you do not have a sense that human dignity is universal because every person carries the image of God, is loved by God, is created by God, then your social justice, human rights, the secular can burn out. It can’t be sustained. You don’t quite know why. I’ll just look up after myself. So I think it being rooted and nourished by that Christian vision is very, very important.

Brendan Corr
The ideal of a social care, social welfare, is obviously deeply important to you and informed by your faith. Australians like to think of themselves as a pretty equitable society, a pretty just society, giving people a fair go and flat, relatively classless. You’ve seen different parts of Australian society, you’ve led different parts of Australian society. Where do you feel we might measure up in regards to our own aspirations?

Tim Costello
Yeah. Look, I think deep down, most Australians are living off the legacy of what we call Judeo-Christian values. That innate sense of fairness wasn’t just because of a secular vision of Australia. It was a vision that was preached, that was week by week in worship service nourished. Where people not just listen to a morally, spiritually serious sermon. The pastor ran the plate and said, “How can we make the needs in our community? How can we start a school? How can we care for the homeless?” Churches living out of the vision of Jesus model for Australia that innate sense of fairness that most Australians seem to have. So I think Australians often have forgotten that as we’ve become more secularised and think, we just invented ourselves and we’re self sufficient. But that’s actually the story that gave them the imagination for fairness and the instinct for fairness. I think it’s very fundamentally important.

Brendan Corr
We’ve seen some of the most generous acts of charity and of giving in recently in Australia with the outworking of the bushfires and the floods and people’s generosity poured out in those moments of intense tragedy. Do you think we’re a generous people?

Tim Costello
Yes, I do. I think Australia’s level of giving, compared with other nations, it’s not the highest, but it’s actually up in the top 10. So there is a genuine Australian sense of, “That could be me. I’m blessed. I wasn’t in the bushfires, but they are fellow Australians suffering.” So I do think that’s certainly within us. I think there are particular blocks in our heads. We’ve had a block in our head about anyone who’s a boat person, and we’ve often been very harsh and said, “They had no right to come.” It’s pretty amazing that we had such strict border controls with boat people and left them on Manus Island and Nauru. And then cruise ships can pull up in Sydney and people with COVID-19 can walk off without any checks. Another boat arrives, and suddenly we’ve got high levels of infection. It’s pretty puzzling when we’ve been a nation known around the world with the strictest policy against boats. So there are blind spots where we are blind to some of the refugees also who carry the image of God.

Brendan Corr
Generous to our own, but suspicious of the stranger? Is that…?

Tim Costello
Yeah, and I think this is natural. Look, societies have always organised themselves around my tribe, my mob. We need our tribe to belong. They get our humour, they’re there when we’re alone. They love our rugby or AFL or cricket. And that’s what culture is. They’re my tribe. And we’ve right through history wanted the tribe. What’s profound about Christian faith was it was the first international movement that said, “Neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free.” It broke down the tribes and says, “Slave and free both carry the image of God. Jew and Gentile both carry the image of God.” And therefore, we don’t just love our own. We love all, and we see that image of God and give them dignity and support because they’re made by God. That’s what’s radical about the Christian message.

Brendan Corr
That’s good. You spent 12 years as CEO of maybe the best known charity in the nation, World Vision, dependent upon people’s giving. I want to put something to you. I heard a quote very recently that made the comment, or the observation, that charity in the instance of a tragic circumstance is relatively easy. The creation of justice is much harder. Do you have a sense of resonance with that notion?

Tim Costello
Yeah. I think that’s true. Look, I lead Micah Australia that’s based on Micah 6:8. “Do justice. Love mercy or charity. Walk humbly.” I’d say charity is a choice, but in Scripture justice is a demand. Now, we need both. Charity is a choice. Can I donate? Can I do a random act of kindness? Justice, which is a demand in the Bible, is found in the Old Testament. To obey God, Israel’s told, “You will obey God so there may be no poor among you.” And whether that was forgiveness of debts every seven years, 50 years Jubilee in return of land, this was justice. This was, “We’re structured so there may be no poor among you.” Justice as the demand is much harder because of those who’d written the rules. Those rules often work for the powerful and the elite. Doing justice in the Bible is a demand, and it remains hard to do.

Brendan Corr
Yeah. It sort of takes us back to where we started, isn’t it, about the issuing of justice or the crafting of justice in the way people experience society. Reverend Costello, you’ve had different chances to maybe enter the forums where the laws of our country are made. You served as Mayor of St. Kilda for a while and an opportunity maybe to go a little further in a political career. What guided you in your decisions to stay at the coalface making a difference for people in the practicalities rather than the institutions of parliament?

Tim Costello
Yeah. Well, one of the reasons I wrote my memoir was to ask of myself that question, because just as I’ve been a puzzle to myself, and most people think they’re a puzzle to them themselves, I was still trying to work out why I didn’t go into politics. I was offered a Senate seat, I would have gone straight into the casual vacancy in the federal parliament. I could’ve my hands on the levers of power and pulled them and I chose not to. And I realised looking back that politics has been my temptation, but not my vocation.

Brendan Corr
Oh, very good.

Tim Costello
A vocation is a calling.

Brendan Corr
It’s very good.

Tim Costello
My calling was to stay at the coalface, to be faithful in what I was doing. So that really is the answer, Brendan.

Brendan Corr
That’s beautiful. And it seems to be the story or a theme of the story of your life. That God holds you true to that first claim that he’s made on your heart, and He reemphasises.

Tim Costello
Absolutely.

Brendan Corr
Yeah. One last question, Tim Costello, before you wind up. The things we’ve been talking about, social justice, the crafting of institutions, a generous approach to those that are coming to our country, to those that find themselves in difficulty, would be, in strict terms, described as, in political terms, left rather than right. Do you see the world in those sort of split terms? Is it left, right? Christian, non-Christian? Grace, law? How do you reconcile some of those observations people might make?

Tim Costello
No, I don’t see them in those terms. I say to people, “Don’t go left, don’t go right. Go deeper. And go deeper into Jesus.”

Brendan Corr
That’s good. Yeah, that’s good.

Tim Costello
And I find it curious that sometimes Christians wearing a left or right political lens read the Bible and select out just the bits that suit their politics.

Brendan Corr
Yes.

Tim Costello
So those on the left will pick out any of the Bible verses about justice. Those on the right will pick out only the Bible verses about personal morality and family and marriage. Actually, the Bible speaks to both. It doesn’t go either left or right. It goes deeper, and that’s what I call on people to do.

Brendan Corr
Yeah, that’s excellent. That’s a great way for us to finish up. Reverend Costello, I just want to thank you again for your time today, but beyond that, on behalf of the Christian community, I thank you for your life of service that has been given so faithfully, and I think we’ve heard today in your conversation just how faithfully that has been manifest. You are heralded as a living, national treasure in recent accolades, but I know that what will give you far more contentment and satisfaction is to know that you receive, “Well done, good and faithful servant,” from He who called you.

Tim Costello
Absolutely. And thank you so much for those kind words.

Brendan Corr
We honour you and we will continue to pray for you in the work that you do with Micah Australia. It’s important work. Hopefully there’ll be some others who get to know a bit about that through listening to this podcast. Reverend Costello, thank you, and God be with you.

Tim Costello
And with you. Thank you.

About Tim Costello

Rev Tim Costello is an Australian Baptist minister, qualified lawyer, current Executive Director of Micah Australian and Chief Advocate of World Vision Australia (where he formerly served as CEO from 2004 to 2016). Tim studied at Monash University, graduating with a Bachelor of Laws in 1978. From 1981, Tim studied theology at the International Baptist Seminary in Switzerland, graduating with a Bachelor of Divinity before returning to Australia to become the minister of St Kilda Baptist Church, and later Collins Street Baptist. He was made an officer of the Order of Australia in June 2005.

Photo of Brendan Corr

About Brendan Corr

Originally a Secondary Science Teacher, Brendan is a graduate of UTS, Deakin and Regent College, Canada. While Deputy Principal at Pacific Hills for 12 years, Brendan also led the NSW Christian Schools Australia registration system. Brendan’s faith is grounded in a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and a deep knowledge of God’s Word. Married for over 30 years, Brendan and Kim have 4 adult children. On the weekends, Brendan enjoys cycling (but he enjoys coffee with his mates afterwards slightly more).