One week ago, an unthinkable tragedy hit two ordinary Australian families.
On that day, the families of 15 other people were also forever changed as they were forced to imagine a life without them over 16 terrifying hours, and a city shifted on its axis.
But today is about the two victims of the Sydney siege who never came home.
Katrina Dawson, a well-respected barrister with three young children, and Tori Johnson, a man who had lived with his loving partner for 14 years and was described as a “great guy” by friends and family, endured more than 16 hours of terrifying hours in the Lindt cafe during the Sydney siege.
In the early hours of 16 December, their families learned that their loved ones had not survived that harrowing night.
It’s news that changed those families’ lives forever — and left three small children without a mother.
Today, at two separate memorial services held across Sydney, the Dawson family and the Johnson family will honour the lives of the ones they lost.
Australia, too, will today mourn the loss of two of our own: these two ordinary — but by all accounts extraordinarily kind and warm — Australian heroes.
Katrina Dawson, 38, was buried privately yesterday, and today her life will be celebrated at 3pm at the University of Sydney, where the mother-of-three studied Arts/Law.
Ms Dawson’s children were asked to pick the songs played during the service. Sasha, who is just four, has chosen Santa Claus Is Coming To Town. Oliver, six, has picked Somewhere Over the Rainbow, while Chloe, eight, has chosen The Gambler; news.com.au reports that little Chloe enjoyed the Kenny Rogers son with her mother.
Ms Dawson’s husband Paul Smith will give a eulogy at the service.
The Daily Mail reports Ms Dawson’s family have asked attendees to wear a splash of aqua, Ms Dawson’s favourite colour, to honour her life.
In lieu of flowers they ask mourners donate to the Katrina Dawson Foundation, which will focus on the education of women. Former Governor-General Quentin Bryce is the charity’s founding member.
Tributes to the victims of the Sydney siege (post continues after gallery):
Tori Johnson, 34, will be farewelled at a private memorial service at St Stephen’s Uniting Church this morning from 11am.