Just three months after the Sydney Siege, Lindt Café Martin Place has re-opened its doors.
On December 15 last year, Man Haron Monis ordered the doors to be locked and the 16 hours, which would end in gunfire and the loss of life for two innocent victims, began.
Lindt Australia chief executive Steve Loane said the reopening of the store came after “three months of sadness,” but assured that the company and everyone involved in the reopening, was devoted to making “today a happy day to celebrate that we’re back and we’re open with the support of all the staff.”
The newly opened café will host two indoor memorial plaques dedicated to the lives of Tori Johnson and Katrina Dawson.
The plaques – revealed today, read; “In Loving Memory of Tori Johnson – Forever In Our Hearts” and “In Loving Memory of Katrina Dawson – An Inspiration.”
Employee Joel Herat, who was one of the hostages, has started back at work this morning.
“I wanted to come back here and support the staff and the company,” said Herat.
When asked why it was important for him to return to this site, Herat answered: “It’s more of a psychological thing. Working with these people here has helped a lot in the healing process.”
Steve Loane stated that the company had insisted counsellors would be on site for staff, if needed.
The poignancy of the situation does not escape Loane, “that sadness doesn’t go away but today is like a fresh start for a lot of us and, really, to get customers back in our store and see people smiling – that’s what we’re all about.”
The inquest into the deaths of Tori Johnson and Katrina Dawson will resume on May 25.