Over the past two days Sydneysiders have flocked to Martin Place to pay tribute to the victims of the siege which came to an end just after 2am on Tuesday when police stormed the Lindt Cafe.
Of the 17 hostages, two were killed in the siege. They were mother-of-three and barrister Katrina Dawson and cafe manager Tori Johnson.
Sydney has banded together to support each other and come to grips with such a violent event taking place in the city they call home.
Hoping to help them move on is the “Embrace In Martin Place Movement“.
Launched on Facebook by Anita Applebaum and Bravo Cognitonaut, the artists have been playing music, offering hugs and lending an understanding ear to those who need it.
They’re not counselors, they just wanted to help lift the city’s mood and fill Martin Place with positive energy.
“We heard what happened and were at home feeling pretty helpless about it,” Applebaum said.
“We’re not experts but we thought the best thing we can do is just be here in the space and see if anyone wanted to talk and we could listen.
“When a tragic event like that happens it fills the space with a bit of association of a negative energy. We just thought Martin Place being a public space which we can use to come together as a community.”
People have been going down and taking shifts. One of the volunteer huggers, Jessie Ozsie, estimated that in the 20 minutes she had been standing near the sea of flowers she had probably given about 20 hugs.
“It’s been really lovely to connect with people on a human level,” Applebaum said.
“I feel that the energy has shifted a bit today. It’s a little bit lighter.
“As soon as I walked in today I felt it was a little bit different which is good. People have to grieve but they can’t stay in grief.”
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.