Thousands of cards and messages for Sydney siege victims Tori Johnson and Katrina Dawson will be preserved following the removal of the floral tribute in Martin Place.
I would like to extend thanks to the many volunteers from the Red Cross, Rural Fire Service and State Emergency Service who arrived early this morning to assist City of Sydney staff in collecting the notes ahead of forecast wet weather.
The volunteers and staff should be commended for taking every care to remove the flowers respectfully.
Their efforts have ensured that every card and note containing the thoughts and prayers of Australians are preserved as a lasting tribute.
The flowers have been removed to be clean mulched and used at a later date as part of a permanent memorial, while the cards and notes have been collected to be digitally recorded and provided to the Johnson and Dawson families.
A marquee will remain in Martin Place for floral tributes, and condolence messages can be left until the end of January at NSW Parliament, the Sydney Opera House or online at www.nsw.gov.au
The Johnson and Dawson families have requested any financial donations be directed toward helping others.
Ms Dawson's family has established The Katrina Dawson Foundation to assist in the education of women. Donations can be made at www.thekatrinadawsonfoundation.org
Mr Johnson's family has asked donations to be made to beyondblue to help those living with depression and anxiety. Donations can be made at https://beyondblueinmemoriam.everydayhero.com/au/torijohnson
The NSW Government will make a $100,000 contribution to both The Katrina Dawson Foundation and beyondblue in support of their lasting legacies.