Another ‘kick in the guts’ for victim of convicted paedophile

UNDER FIRE: The back of the pavilion where Graham Bruce Collins' name appears at Marty Busch Reserve in Sebastopol. Picture: Kate Healy
UNDER FIRE: The back of the pavilion where Graham Bruce Collins' name appears at Marty Busch Reserve in Sebastopol. Picture: Kate Healy

A Sebastopol running track named after a convicted child sex offender has come under fire from his victim’s family.

Graham Bruce Collins’ name still adorns the back of a pavilion at Marty Busch Reserve at Sebastopol.

A jury found him guilty of three counts of an indecent act with a child under 16, and one count of sexual penetration of a child under 16 in June.

He was also acquitted of four counts of indecent acts of a child under 16. 

The 76-year-old is still to be sentenced for offences.

A former Borough of Sebastopol mayor and Country Fire Authority member, Collins was also awarded a Fire Services Medal on Australia Day in 2002.

An unofficial Graham B Collins Running Track sign was placed on the pavilion at the reserve’s second oval before current naming legislation was developed in 1998.

Now the mother of his victim, neither of whom can be named, wants Ballarat City Council to remove the sign.

“I think he should be stripped of everything, why should a registered pedophile be on it in anyway or form?” she said.

“We are the ones whose lives have turned upside down, we are the ones whose lives have been crazy.

“It is a kick in the guts.”

The Australian Governor General’s office is responsible for Fire Service Medals awarded on Australia Day.

The office did not respond to requests for comment before The Courier went to print.

Ballarat mayor Samantha McIntosh said council would work with the CFA to remove the sign.

“There is no official name registered with the City of Ballarat for this fire training track,” she said.

“The track was informally named before naming legislation was developed in 1998.

“Current legislation discourages the use of names of the living for any places.”

The victim’s mother said she rang council to discuss the issue but was told by staff the name had nothing to do with Collins.

Collins remained in custody ahead of his sentencing, which was adjourned in June to allow for the defence to present his medical history to the court.

He will be sentenced at the Victorian County Court in Melbourne at a date to be fixed.