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Thursday 18 December 2014

Tori Johnson's dad Ken: interview with Lizzie Pearl, Nine News

In a Nine News story this evening, reporter Lizzie Pearl conducted an exceptional interview with Ken Johnson, the father of Tori Johnson at the site of the huge flower memorial at Martin Place, and the words this man says are nothing short of inspiring.

Lizzie asked Ken what's is like being at the memorial site the second time in two days: "Same as it was yesterday: powerful. It's the beginning of something brand new that's going to extend throughout the world as a motif, I think, as we might want to call it. It's going to be something that's going to grow hopefully all the way down to Central station," he laughs. "I'm not going to promise anything but it's a good start on the concept.

Ken adds: "It ignited the flame that's going to go forever. And I think Australia is starting to pave the way for tolerance and cultural diplomacy I think. And I think they show a wonderful homogeny of spirit because basically everybody from everywhere in the world is here and we are the most multicultural place in the world, and we get on and that's what we want, we want to keep that flow going."

Lizzie talks about Ken's new friends, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu and Christian religious leaders (he spent more than an hour with the leaders – Rabbis Levi Wolff and Zalmen Kastel, Hindu priest Pandit Ramachandra, Reverend Bill Crews and Sheikh Wesam Charkawiwho have come along from different religious denominations and how important it was for them to to do that today.

"It was very important; I want solidarity, you know. I don't know where this is going to go, I m making it up as I go along. They came and here they are, and that's what counts."

Asks Lizzie: you would like this memorial to get bigger and bigger, wouldn't you?

"Yeah, I mean what I want to say is that my son's love is immense and his bravery is immeasurable, that's the way I read it. I'm his father, I want to do something for him now, beyond what I may have done for him as a child."

What a man. What an incredibly insightful and respectful man. It's clear: Tori had an exceptional role model in his father Ken.

Rest in peace, Tori. Forever young.

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