Katrina Dawson was so much more than the tragic event that took her life.

When Katrina Dawson died on December 14, 2014, she was in the prime of her life.

The Sydney barrister was just 38 when she was killed in the crossfire as NSW Police tried to diffuse the hostage situation in the Lindt Cafe in Martin Place which had already lasted nearly 18 hours.

An inquest into the tragedy revealed that unlike the first victim of the siege, Tori Johnson, who was shot point blank by lone gunman Man Haron Monis, the mother-of-three was fatally hit by several fragments from police bullets.

Since the State Coroner handed down his findings six days ago, both victims’ families have accused authorities of “mismanaging” the situation.

Both spoke candidly with ABC’s Four Corners about their frustration, and in Part Two the program’s special investigation into the siege, which aired on Monday night, Dawson’s mother Jane lamented that her daughter would be would be remembered for her death rather than her rich, full life.

“[One] of the saddest things about this is Katrina’s face is such an image in the paper,” she told Sarah Ferguson.

“Her name will be forever associated with such a terrible, terrible tragedy and that’s really sad because she was such a fabulous person.

“[We] have to somehow accept that she is always going to be associated with the siege and that’s a shame.”


Four Corners: the families of Katrina and Tori remember them

In this sequence the families of Katrina Dawson and Tori Johnson – who both died during the Lindt Cafe siege – reflect on their enduring memories and their loss.Watch Part 2 of The Siege tomorrow night on Four Corners. Catch up on Part 1 on ABC iview:

Posted by Four Corners on Saturday, 27 May 2017

Dawson was happily married with three young children, Sasha, Oliver and Chloe, who were all under 10 when she died.

She was also a brilliant mind and finished high school with a perfect score of 100 before topping her class at University and eventually receiving the highest score in her NSW bar exam.

It was at law firm King & Wood Mallesons that she had met her husband Paul Smith.

“When you’re blessed with the brain she was blessed with, when you’re blessed with that kind of – all the things that could be right in the world happened for Katrina and she basically lived every moment to the full,” her mum said.

"She basically lived every moment to the full." Source: Four Corners

"I think perhaps to have humility amongst all of that is a bigger sign of greatness than anything else in a sense."

Dawson was also a sister and an aunt.

She was the middle of three children and her brothers, Angus and Sandy Dawson, described her as "the glue" that held their family together.

"For Katrina, she was really at that point in her prime, with these three gorgeous kids who she absolutely adored, a wonderful husband, her career where she'd gone through the bar a few years before and was really flourishing now,"  Angus told Four Corners.

Katrina with her brothers Sandy and Angus. Source: Four Corners

"There's a hole that can be never closed," he said, "but there's also a wonderful set of memories and history that can also never be taken away."

During last night's program, other hostages remembered her for remaining calm and providing comfort throughout the terrifying siege.

Her brother Sandy said he would miss her "judgement, her love, and her happiness".

"I don't feel like I can fill the gap," he told Four Corners.

"She was the glue in many ways in the family - we're all very close, we're all very lucky to be that way and I often wonder how mum and dad did it but she was the embodiment of happiness and what our family was all about and we will fight hard not to lose that and to honour her that way."

Since her death, Dawson's father Alexander said she had become "public property".

Her family is hoping as the drawn out investigation into her death nears its end, they will finally be able to claim her back.

You can watch Part 1 of ABC's Four Corners special investigation into the Sydney siege here and Part 2 here.