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Sydney siege victims Tori Johnson, Katrina Dawson farewelled

9News.com.au 9News.com.au 23/12/2014


Sydney siege victim Katrina Dawson's young son told one of her oldest friends his mummy was in heaven, and forever in his heart.

The barrister and former University of Sydney arts and law student has been farewelled at a memorial service this afternoon at the college's Great Hall.

She was described as a "gorgeous, funny friend" as well as a "beautiful and devoted mother" whose family and friends came first.

"Thank you for being my friend - thank you Paul for creating with Trine the fabulous Dawson family," her friend Kate said.

"She will be with us always."

Three of Ms Dawson's friends from university spoke at the service. All promised to be a part of her children's lives.

"On Wednesday night, Ollie said to me, 'Mummy is in heaven, heaven is in my heart, mummy will be with me forever," Kate said.

Fellow siege hostage Julie Taylor, a close friend of Ms Dawson, read out a poem at the service that her friend had written on the day she married her husband Paul.

Ms Taylor said her friend helped teach her how to be a mother.

Her colleague described her as "funny, great company and a good luncher" who put 100 percent into everything she did.

"She was exceptional - she always found a new way through the maze," he said.

The partner of Tori Johnson, Thomas Zinn and family members carry the casket in at the funeral of Tori Johnson. © AAP Image/Nikki Short The partner of Tori Johnson, Thomas Zinn and family members carry the casket in at the funeral of Tori Johnson.

Earlier today, cafe manager and siege victim Tori Johnson was farewelled at an emotional service in the heart of Sydney.

NSW Premier Mike Baird offered his personal condolences to grieving father Ken.

Mr Johnson's farewell service started at 11am at St Stephen’s Uniting Church in Macquarie Street.

The church is just metres from where Mr Johnson was tragically shot dead at close range by gunman Man Monis in the closing moments of the 16-hour siege last week.

The partner of Tori Johnson, Thomas Zinn (R) and a family member leave the funeral of Tori Johnson. © AAP Image/Nikki Short The partner of Tori Johnson, Thomas Zinn (R) and a family member leave the funeral of Tori Johnson.

Ken Johnson and his son’s long-time partner Thomas Zinn both spoke at the service, at which survivors of the siege ordeal were also believed to be present.

NSW Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione and federal minister Malcolm Turnbull were both at the church, along with Mr Baird.

NSW Governor David Hurley also attended.

The Sydney siege flower tribute at Martin Place was removed ahead of forecast rain earlier today, but a permanent memorial to both victims will be erected in its place.

Hostages Jarrod Hoffman and Selina Win Pe arrive at the funeral of Tori Johnson. © AAP Image/Nikki Short Hostages Jarrod Hoffman and Selina Win Pe arrive at the funeral of Tori Johnson.

Flowers taken from Martin Place this morning will be mulched and deposited at a site to be determined after consultation with the families of the victims.

"At an appropriate time we'll also discuss with them the establishment of a permanent memorial," NSW Premier Mike Baird said.

A marquee will be erected to preserve key parts of the tribute, while collected messages will be preserved.

Condolence books will be kept at Parliament House and the Opera House until the end of January.

"The condolence books will be bound in several volumes and one complete copy will be provided to each family," Mr Baird said.

Anyone wishing to express their sympathy is encouraged to donate to charities nominated by the Johnson and Dawson families.

Ms Dawson's family have established a foundation in her honour, which will focus on educating women.

For more information on the foundation, visit thekatrinadawsonfoundation.org

Mr Johnson's family nominated beyondblue.

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