Joel Herat still working in what was the Lindt stronghold

Smiling, wearing a brown apron over his black uniform, Joel Herat walks briskly through the cafe where he was once held hostage for 17 hours. Polite and cheerful, he tells customers where to pay, wipes down tables, delivers mochas and cakes. He jokes with his colleagues, slinging an arm around their shoulders.

For the past two years, as the Lindt cafe inquest dissected the night of December 15, 2014, Mr Herat has worked shifts in the place where his boss Tori Johnson was killed.

He restocked glasses after lunch on Friday, near the spot where the gunman Man Haron Honis was shot dead, where the barrister Katrina Dawson was fatally wounded by ricocheting shrapnel.

He greets customers at the doorway where the Delta Alpha assault team burst in with M4 automatic rifles.

"I try not to think about it too much," Mr Herat says of the siege. "I try to treat it as a normal job."

A TV on the back wall shows melted chocolate cascading over orange segments and white-hatted chocolatiers scrutinising their creations. Afternoon light comes through the bank of windows fronting Martin Place, which the sniper teams had coded "white windows 1-4".

The name badge on Mr Herat's apron says "Matthew" but it is not a prop to deflect questions from those who remember his name - he simply left his own at home.

On the night of the siege, the then 21-year-old hid a pair of scissors in his apron. He told the inquest last year he had considered whether to stab Monis in the neck.

"Maybe if I could maim him or stab him that could be a chance for people to get out," he recalled thinking. But he felt the risk was too great.

"If I did something it could help and get us out of there but if it didn't it could be a catastrophe."

Mr Herat grabbed the arm of his pregnant colleague Harriette Denny and ran at 2.03am in a group of six escaping hostages, bullets whizzing above him.

"I thought he was going to come out and follow us on to Martin Place and shoot us dead or shoot whoever was left in the cafe."

When the Lindt cafe reopened four months later, Mr Herat put on his apron once more. The then premier Mike Baird shook his hand.

"It was extremely important for me to be here and support Lindt and support the people I work with," he said at the time.

"Working with these people here, it's helped a lot in the healing process."

In his final semester of university, he is the last Lindt hostage to remain with the cafe.

The coroner's delivery of the inquest findings on Wednesday will close the public inquiries into the attack. But for now Mr Herat will keep serving, clearing, healing.

This story Joel Herat still working in what was the Lindt stronghold first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.