The Martin Place Permanent Memorial was unveiled this morning, in recognition of the outpouring of compassion and unity by thousands of people following the December 2014 Martin Place siege.
Two brave young Australians, Tori Johnson and Katrina Dawson, were tragically killed in the siege and Premier Gladys Berejiklian acknowledged the invaluable contribution made by their families to the design and placement of the memorial, which is entitled Reflection.
“I recognise that this memorial will be deeply personal for the families of Tori and Katrina and I hope it will provide a lasting symbol of how our community united in the face of such tragedy,” Ms Berejiklian said.
“For me, Reflection is also an important reminder of our quiet, inner strength and the way in which we supported one another, in one of our darkest times.”
Designed by Professor Richard Johnson AO MBE and artist Ms Jess Dare, the Memorial recognises the outpouring of compassion and spontaneous sea of floral tributes laid by thousands of people following the Martin Place siege.
The Memorial is comprised of hundreds of cubes, each containing a handcrafted flower, embedded in the granite paving between Castlereagh and Pitt Streets.
“This beautiful concept will create an appropriate place for people to pay their respects and to reflect on this terrible event,” Ms Berejiklian said.
An estimated 110,000 bunches of flowers were left at and collected from the tribute site in Martin Place in the eight days following the siege.
Earlier on Saturday the Governor of NSW, on behalf of the Governor-General, announced that Tori Johnson will be recognised with a Star of Courage and Katrina Dawson will be recognised with a Bravery Medal within the Australian Bravery Decorations – our pre-eminent award for courage.