Remembering Katrina Dawson: "Mummy is in heaven. And heaven is in my heart."




“Please don’t forget her.”

These were the words of Katrina Dawson’s heartbroken mother, Jane Dawson, at her memorial in Sydney today.

That’s not going to happen. So many people crowded the University of Sydney’s Great Hall today that they were queuing around the building for a space to pay their respects.

The Great Hall at the University of Sydney was overflowing with mourners at Katrina Dawson’s memorial service. Image via Getty.

Yesterday Katrina, 38, was laid to rest at a private ceremony. Today, more than 1500 people, including the Prime Minister and former Governor General Quentin Bryce, farewelled the woman slain by a gunman in the Sydney siege exactly one week ago.

Her friends spoke about her abilities as a barrister, a loving friend, a loving wife and, above all, as a passionate mother to her three little children.

They shared stories about Katrina’s cake-making prowess, her legal skills, her love of fancy dress parties, her ability to manage a million things in a day, and they marvelled at their good fortune to have her in their lives, even for a relatively short time.

Katrina’s father Sandy said his only daughter “gave our family 38 years of joy.”

Setting the tone for today’s service, her friend and colleague Jeremy Stoljar said, “We are going to do our best despite everything, to honour the happy times… Katrina was the was the best friend anyone could have.”


The order of service from today’s memorial showed Katrina on her wedding day. 

Katrina’s husband, Paul Smith, said of his wife, “She was the most beautiful person physically and spiritually, the cakes she baked for the kids’ birthdays were legendary, the outfits she prepared for their dress-up parties were worthy of the stage.
“Her love for her children was limitless.”Paul especially wanted their children to know that their mother would have only been thinking of them as the horror of the siege unfolded.”I doubt she would have laid down her life for Julie although we were all worried for Julie and her unborn child,” Paul said, referring to reports Katrina was killed defending her pregnant friend, Julie Taylor.
He looked at his children as he said, “Her focus was 100 per cent on getting home for Chloe, Oliver and Sasha, and to me that makes her even more of a hero.”

Paul Smith and Katrina Dawson – via Twitter.

Julie stood to read out a poem that Katrina wrote for her wedding. Before reading it, pregnant Julie said of her friend,  “She made me want to be a wife and mother.
 Bride McDermott shares memories of her friend Katrina. Image via Getty.
“I believe her greatest achievement was that those she loved knew that she loved them. Her children, Paul, and all of her family and friends.

“She constantly reminded us of her and that’s why we loved her.”

Sydney University’s Great Hall, where the memorial was held. Via Twitter.

Katrina’s girlfriends continued to paint a picture of a warm and wonderful woman. Her former Women’s College friends Kate, Sally and Brydie sharing their favourite memories of their ‘Treen.”

Sally Webb, Cate Stewart and Bridie Mcdermott on stage. “My mummy is in heaven and heaven is in my heart so mummy will be with me all the time,” Ms Webb recalled. Image via Getty.

And with these words, Sally summed up the feelings of all who loved her. She told the congregation that last Wednesday night Katrina’s little son Ollie had said to her: “My mummy is in heaven – and heaven is in my heart – so my mummy will be with me all the time.”

Katrina’s parents and brothers also spoke.

Jane Dawson and Alexander Dawson farewell their daughter Katrina. Image via Getty.

Her brother Sandy — who is also a lawyer — said it had been he was always proud of her in her career.

“She was universally liked and respected and occasionally feared by her opponents,” he said.


“Her qualities matched what every barrister should aspire to be – seriously intelligent, ethical to a fault, unfailingly fair and supremely efficient.”

Katrina’s brothers Sandy and Angus. Image via Getty.

MAMAMIA previously reported:

Ms Dawson’s children were asked to pick the songs played during the service — and their choices bring home exactly how innocent, young and full of love for their mother these small girls and boy really are.

A drawing left by Katrina Dawson’s daughter Sasha at the Martin Place public memorial site.

Sasha, who is just four, has chosen Santa Claus Is Coming To Town, while Oliver, six, has picked Somewhere Over the Rainbow.

Chloe, eight, has chosen The Gambler; reports that little Chloe enjoyed the Kenny Rogers son with her mother.

In lieu of flowers they ask mourners donate to the Katrina Dawson Foundation, which will focus on the education of women.

Katrina Dawson’s three small children each chose a song to be played at their mother’s memorial service today:

Somewhere over the rainbow chosen by Oliver, 6:

The Gambler chosen by Chloe, 8:

Santa Claus is Coming to Town chosen by Sasha, 4:

Along with her children’s choices the following songs were also played at Katrina Dawson’s service:

Annie’s Song – John Denver

Happy by Pharrell Williams – a song Ms Dawson loved to dance to with her children.

Ms Dawson was buried privately on Monday.

To read more about Australia farewelling these two heroes today, see this post. To see more about Tori Johnson‘s funeral service, see this post.

Some more tributes to the victims of the Sydney siege: