One year on and the grief is still raw for the mother of Sydney siege victim, Tori Johnson.

“I can be strong when I need to be strong, just hold my head up high for him,’ Rosie Connellan said in a recent interview with Channel 7.

“It’s going to be very hard to be there [at the memorial], but it’s for Tori so we’ll stand there proudly for him.”

The memorial service will be held in Sydney’s Martin Place on Tuesday (14th December) to mark the first anniversary of the 17-hour siege and Rosie plans to bring sunflowers to lay in remembrance of her son.

“I wanted them to be from our garden, not from a florist,” Rosie said.

“Flowers have always been his thing.  He’s picked me flowers since he could walk.”

NSW Premier Mike Baird announced on Sunday that a permanent floral display in a ‘scattered starburst’ design of around 400 floral cubes would be inlaid into the paving near where the tragedy occurred to pay honour to Tori and Katrina Dawson, who both lost their lives in the carnage of the hostage situation.

The tribute will feature stylised flowers set inside mirrored boxes which will be lit throughout the day and night – an everlasting reflection of the outpouring of flowers and cards that thousands of Sydney siders left in Martin Place after the siege.


Sydney Siege Tribute_Premiers Office
© NSW Premier’s Office


© NSW Premier's Office
© NSW Premier’s Office


“We saw this outpouring of compassion and mourning that came with those families and victims,” Mr Baird told reporters at the memorial announcement.

“It also said to those that want to bring hate, we’re going to respond with love, we’re going to respond with peace. And those that come and try and divide this city, this state, this country, well you won’t, we’re going to unite.”

Rosie told Channel 7 that she was overjoyed with the memorial announcement and that she wanted to focus on the positive community support that had come from that terrible day.

“Maybe the 15th [of December, the date of the siege] can become a day each year for that. For us to remember that [positivity].”


Main image courtesy of Getty



  • yeah what a hard time for all the families. maybe it will help knowing that the whole nation is standing behind them


  • Already one year. Sigh! What a terrible memory. It must be so hard for the families of the victims to be there today.
    My thoughts are with them.


  • It feels like this happened just the other day – I just cannot believe it has already been a year. I saw one of the victims on Sunrise this morning and the poor darling is still battling with it. Mind you she had had 6 operations and over 200 pieces of shrapnel removed from her legs. She was apparently lying next to the lass who died, when she died. The emotional scars provide more pain than the physical ones. Just awful! It is something that will be with them forever.


  • Memorial are very important. My thoughts are with everyone affected


  • Memorials like this one are important for reflection and allowing all those affected to move forward.


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