By Natalie Whiting.
Tasmanian boy Kobe Bennett is unflinching in describing his experiences of domestic violence.
“When I was younger, my dad used to beat me up and throw me at walls and he tried to burn the house down once,” he said.
His father has since been convicted of domestic violence-related offences, and life was now a lot better, the 12-year-old said.
“It’s much more fun,” he said.
The young survivor has been awarded the youth category at this year’s Human Rights Awards for using his experiences to help stand up for the rights of children and illustrate the impacts of domestic violence.
He has been working with his mother producing a family violence audiobook, using a collection of personal stories.
“It’s mine, my mum’s and a whole bunch of other people’s. It’s just been piecing together what people have to say about family violence.”
He hopes the project will help other children and wants people to be able to feel how he felt.
Refugee giving back in new and former home
Former refugee Besta Poni Peter was the joint winner of the individual award, one of nine handed out at Government House.
Ms Poni Peter, who fled war in Sudan and settled in Tasmania, was recognised for her work supporting and inspiring other refugees.
“My heart is always supporting people who need support, so just hearing their voices and issues that are facing them,” Ms Poni Peter said.
She has also been working with Bright Side Foundation, raising money for schools in South Sudan.
“My hopes are to not only give back to South Sudan, but also Australia. To give back here and also back home, so my heart is in two.