Mother of Lindt Cafe manager Tori Johnson breaks one year silence ahead of anniversary

Chris Reason

The mother of hero Lindt Cafe manager Tori Johnson has broken her one-year silence to speak exclusively to Seven News.

Rosie Connellan has never spoken publicly about Tori's murder before.

Tori is her missing hero and she has revealed the pain that has tortured the family since his death last December.

Tori Johnson's mum Rosie Connellan spoke out for the first time to Seven News reporter Chris Reason. Photo: 7 News
Tori and first love and partner of 14 years Thomas Zinn. Photo: 7 News

She spoke out as the secret plans for a permanent memorial to the victims were finally unveiled today.

It was revealed that 400 floral designs inside small glass cubes will be inlaid into the granite tiles in Martin Place.

Architect Richard Johnson came up with the idea after he saw the sea of flowers that was laid in honour of the victims and survivors of the siege.

The sea of flowers left in Martin Place after the siege. Photo: 7 News

Premier Mike Baird said: "We never want to forget how we saw this city and this state come together so my hope is on that day we focus in on what brought us together rather than those forces that tried to drive us apart."

Rosie shared a special family place with Seven News reporter Chris Reason- the garden she and Tori designed and built together.

Rosie said: “I feel his presence whenever I come down here, so I come down here every day.

"I get very emotional when I come down here."

She says Tori could have escaped at any time that day but would never have left the female hostages behind.

"I can be strong when I need to be strong, just hold my head up high for him.”

Rosie has not been back to Lindt since the siege and Tuesday's anniversary service will not be easy.

Rosie and Chris Reason. Photo: 7 News
The new memorials which will be put into Martin Place. Photo: 7 News

She has kept hundreds of the cards that were left by strangers.

Tori has been described by his family as loving and kind with an exceptional chef with a business brain who dreamed of building a house with first love and partner of 14 years Thomas Zinn.

"They were soul mates, forever," Rosie added.

The family are delighted with plans for a permanent floral memorial.