Katrina Dawson and Tori Johnson

CBS and the AP have more about the two people who were murdered at the Lindt Cafe yesterday.

Dawson was the mother of three young children, Chloe, Sasha and Oliver, and a highly respected commercial lawyer. She was remembered as “one of our best and brightest” by New South Wales Bar Association president Jane Needham.

Andrew Powell, head of the Ascham School, which Dawson attended in her youth, said she was a well-respected and giving woman who excelled at her studies. Dawson’s daughter Chloe is a student at the school and Sasha will be attending next year.

Dawson was the school’s debating captain and played hockey and basketball. After she became a lawyer, she helped teach senior students at her former school how to prepare for mock trials.

Johnson was remembered as a selfless man who put others first.

“By nature he was a perfectionist and he had a genuine passion for the hospitality industry and people,” Lindt Australia CEO Steve Loane said in a statement. “His loss is absolutely tragic.”

Johnson’s parents issued a brief statement, thanking the public for its support.

“We are so proud of our beautiful boy Tori, gone from this earth but forever in our memories as the most amazing life partner, son and brother we could ever wish for,” they said.

Those are the people that Man Haron Monis took away.



  1. Blanche Quizno says

    um…wait. I’m confused. Why was a *commercial lawyer* working as a barrista??? Or was she a “barrister” in the British sense of “lawyer”? (Over here, “barrista” is the name for someone who makes coffees like a bartender makes drinks, for foreign readers.) And NOT an employee there at all as reported earlier? So she was just a customer in for a cuppa?

  2. says

    And actually they don’t, because barrista is pronounced with the accent on the second syllable; barrister on the first. Plus long i versus short – barrEEsta versus BArrista.

  3. idahogie says

    It’s easy to make the mental mistake of thinking coffee shop –> barista. Even when reading “barrister.”

  4. RJW says

    @ 1 Blanche Quizno,
    @ 8 idahogie,

    Very amusing, you two must be a real hit at funerals.
    ‘Barrister and barista’ don’t sound the same with a British, or Australian accent.

  5. Omar Puhleez says

    The NSW legal system operates like a badly tuned T-model Ford.

    As we know, at the time of his attack in Sydney’s Martin Place [Moris] was on bail in relation to two sets of alleged offences: as an accessory to the murder of his ex-wife and for over 40 sexual assault charges against seven women.
    He was also known to the security authorities since 2007 when he engaged in a spree of hate letters to the families of Australian soldiers killed in Afghanistan, which he described as a “condolence card”.
    In 2008 there were reports that Shia leader Kamal Mousselmani urged the AFP to investigate Monis’s bogus claims to be a spiritual leader with the name Sheikh Haron.
    A Tehran-based journalist, Sadegh Ghorbani, claimed in Tweets on Tuesday that Iranian authorities repeatedly warned Australian authorities about Monis’s mental condition.

    The politicians will no doubt tighten things up for a while, at least until the civil libertarian vote trumps the counter-terrorism one. Then things will relax. Until the next outrage.

  6. Omar Puhleez says

    And from Crikey:
    “An inquiry is now underway into whether a significant intelligence failure may have led to Sydney criminal Man Monis being able to obtain a weapon and initiate Monday’s siege without any monitoring by the federal police and Australian Security Intelligence Organisation.
    “Yesterday, the Prime Minister, in response to a question about why Monis was allowed to roam the streets despite being well-known to authorities, flagged his concerns with how he was not on a counter-terrorism watchlist, saying: “If I can be candid with you, that is the question that we were asking ourselves around the National Security Committee of the Cabinet today — how can someone who has had such a long and chequered history not be on the appropriate watch lists, and how can someone like that be entirely at large in the community?”
    “Abbott went further this morning, committing to an inquiry into what happened and to a public report. “We want to know why he wasn’t being monitored, given his history of violence, his history of mental instability, and his history of infatuation with extremism,” Abbott said. “The system did not adequately deal with this individual.”
    “That the Prime Minister is publicly wondering why security agencies failed to do their job is a remarkable rebuke for agencies that this government has unthinkingly supported, including with the provision of a staggering $630 million in additional funding this year alone and virtual carte blanche on whatever expansions to their powers they have demanded.
    ‘It comes as the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security commences its hearings into the government’s data retention proposal this morning. The committee deputy chair, Labor’s Anthony Byrne, told Crikey this morning that, without having been briefed by agencies, he had “deep concerns about what appears to be an intelligence failure” in relation to Monis.
    “These are agencies that have a suite of draconian powers already, including preventive detention and control order powers. Monis was well known as the author of offensive letters to the families of Australians killed in Afghanistan, had an online presence providing an insight into his bizarre, and constantly changing, beliefs, and had been charged not merely with involvement in the murder of his ex-wife but dozens of sex offences.
    “One serious question must be whether the nature of Monis’ offences in effect took him off the radar — that violence against women did not register with security bureaucrats and counter-terrorism AFP officers as predisposing Monis to “real” violence of the kind they focus on. If Monis was “just” an accused rapist involved with the murder of his former partner, did that blind agencies to his potential threat? Or did his Shia background discourage them from viewing him as the sort of figure likely to sympathise with Islamic State, which before anything else is primarily in the business of murdering Shiites? [My emphasis – OP]
    “The inquiry will come at a time when some within the intelligence community are wondering about whether ASIO head Duncan Lewis has the expertise to oversee the agency at a time of heightened security fears. Lewis — who has declined Crikey’s requests for interview — has an outstanding military record, and became Kevin Rudd’s national security adviser in 2008. He was appointed secretary of Defence in 2011 but then, as has been the fate of some predecessors, moved out and given a diplomatic posting, barely a year later. Secretary of Defence is probably the most difficult public service position, not merely because of the vast nature of the department and its activities, but because of the “diarchy” structure that governs it. That Lewis struggled to run Defence is no discredit to him — better public servants than he have tried and failed. However, it does point up his lack of executive experience running large organisations — ASIO, where he commenced in December, has around 1800 people and a budget of over $400 million.
    “As a consequence, many are wondering whether Lewis is the best person to lead ASIO at this point. The issue of Monis’ absence from any agency observation predates Lewis’ time, but it will only reinforce questions about whether Lewis is the right person for the job.
    “An inquiry into the Monis failure, preferably an independent inquiry, is absolutely critical to preserving both public and political confidence in our agencies, particularly at the point where they are demanding mass surveillance powers to keep the entire population under observation.
    “But far from accepting that the possible failure of ASIO and the AFP in relation to Monis begs the question of why they should be given additional powers the Prime Minister yesterday tried to connect them, explicitly linking the siege in Sydney with the need for “metadata detention”. For a leader who had until then responded to the tragedy responsibly and appropriately, it was an egregious mistake. The debate over data retention is already soiled enough by the blatant misrepresentations of ministers, security agencies and their apparatchiks at the Attorney-General’s Department. To use a tragedy to justify government policy is a grubby new low.”

  7. idahogie says

    @9 RJW:

    Very amusing, you two must be a real hit at funerals.
    ‘Barrister and barista’ don’t sound the same with a British, or Australian accent.

    Why would you say something that harsh?

    I said that when READING, it’s easy to make the mistake of associating the coffee shop with a barista, when the text is “barrister.” I didn’t say that I made that mistake. I was just offering an explanation for an error.

    You’re definitely the one I’d worry about in social interactions.

  8. RJW says

    @11 Omar,

    I heard on the ABC this morning that the national data base indicates that Monis had a firearms licence, the NSW police say that he didn’t. Our taxes at work.

    There’s going to be some very fancy footwork, scapegoating and passing the buck.

  9. Omar Puhleez says

    Yes. Never mind the left hand not knowing what the right hand is doing. The right hand does not even know what the right hand is doing.
    It is a bit like the highway carnage. Every now and again there is a 10-truck pile up, followed by a crackdown; heavy policing; followed by a gradual upward trending of speeds, followed by a 10-truck pile up…

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