Katrina Dawson has been remembered for her enormous intellect and achievement, but most of all her devotion to family.
More than 1000 people farewelled the 38-year-old Sydney siege victim at a memorial service at the University of Sydney on Tuesday.
“My mummy is in heaven and heaven is in my heart, so mummy will always be with me,” her son Ollie’s words of mourning were relayed to those gathered.
“I love you mummy.
“I am sad that you died.”
A slide show played photos of Ms Dawson with her family and friends while a video showed her dancing to Pharrell’s Happy with the children.
Sasha, 4, Ollie, 6, and Chloe, 8, chose three songs for the service, intended as a celebration of Ms Dawson’s life.
“Please don’t forget her,” mother Jane said.
Husband Paul Smith said that even though she wasn’t religious, he could still feel her presence.
“There may not be a God or heaven, but you are still here with us,” he said.
Always a high achiever, Ms Dawson topped the state in the HSC with a 100 TER, won numerous scholarships and excelled as a barrister.
But it was her love of others that was remembered most in the hall awash with aqua lights and outfits, Ms Dawson’s favourite colour.
“(She) made me want to be a wife and mother,” said pregnant friend Julie Taylor, who was also a hostage in the 16-hour Lindt Cafe siege last week.
Tears flowed while Ms Taylor read a poem from Ms Dawson to her husband on their wedding day.
“I want to laugh with your joy, to cry with your tears, to ache with your pain, and mostly just to be there for you and there with you, living our lives together,” Ms Dawson wrote.
The mother-of-three enjoyed baking cakes, dressing up for parties and social sports.
She was fluent in French, a qualified ski instructor and Pictionary master.
In a holiday prank, Ms Dawson’s language skills got her brother Sandy in trouble when he told an Italian woman at the Post Office she had beautiful breasts, instead of asking for stamps.
Former NSW Governor Quentin Bryce said Ms Dawson’s life was inspiring.
“I observed her sensitive to those affected by disadvantage,” Dame Quentin said of their time together in the Women’s College at the university.
Dame Quentin is the founding member of the Katrina Dawson Foundation, aimed at helping educate women.
Prime Minister Tony Abbott and his wife Margaret attended the service along with siege survivor John O’Brien.