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Voters horrified convicted child sex offender worked at a school polling booth



The employment of a convicted child offender to check-off voters at North East polling booth has left mums and dads horrified.

Actor Jeremy Kewley, whose television jobs include Blue Heelers, Neighbors and Stingers, was among the Victorian Electoral Commission staff at the Rutherglen Primary School voting center on Saturday.

The offenses covered 1989 to 2011 and included him putting his hand on groins and kissing faces of youngsters who have dressed up in Lycra for film and advertising auditions.

Father Darren Trevaskis has complained to the VEC.

"I was disgusted to see a paedophile marking off names in our community," Mr Trevaskis said.

"It's at the school, you think you're safe to bring your kids along and especially a government job, you would not expect a criminal to do that job."

On the job: A photograph of Jeremy Kewley at the Rutherglen Primary School polling booth on Saturday. The image was posted on Facebook.

On the job: A photograph of Jeremy Kewley at the Rutherglen Primary School polling booth on Saturday. The image was posted on Facebook.

The VEC would not comment directly on the hiring of Kewley, citing privacy laws.

A spokesman said the VEC did not require criminal convictions to be exposed by those employed for polls.

"Given the volume of people required for such a short period of time, and close monitoring of staff, the VEC has deemed criminal checks to be a mandatory requirement of the recruitment process for election casuals," he said.

"Time constraints are also a significant barrier to the conduct of criminal checks on all election staff."

However, the spokesman said recruitment processes would be assessed in the wake of the election.

"Any review would ensure appropriate recruitment is balanced with the obligation to provide equal opportunity and adherence to anti-discrimination laws," he said.

Another voter, who did not want to be named, said: "He's on the sex offenders' register for life and there's people with their kids going in and I thought it was very ordinary."

Mum Carol Hopcraft was on the school cake stall.

"We were just gobsmacked and horrified – everyone felt violated," she said.

In action: Jeremy Kewley during his time as a warm-up man for television's The Footy Show. His other credits range across The Sullivans and Cop Shop to Stingers and Blue Heelers.

In action: Jeremy Kewley during his time as a warm-up man for television's The Footy Show. His other credits range across The Sullivans and Cop Shop to Stingers and Blue Heelers.

"I should not be able to work in and around children."

Ms Hopcraft said Kewley was surrounded by photographs and names of pupils in the classroom where he was working.

Sexual assault center manager Carolyn Worth said Kewley may have been able to circumvent a register requirement that he does not work with children because of the age of 18.

Offenders have to keep police aware of their movements for a period as part of register conditions.


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