This website has been set up by the parents of Yannis Alexis Marios Barounis with the help of his sister Zoe, his cousin John and the Pipsqueak team, Gayle & Jackie and is dedicated to his memory. Yannis was a lovely young man who left us at the age of 17, too young for anyone to go as he had his whole life in front of him. His family and friends have found it extremely difficult to come to terms with what has happened.
What they are still trying to find an answer to is:
WHY DID HE DO IT?
IF WE HAD DONE...?
HOW DID WE MISS IT?
WHAT WE SHOULD HAVE DONE...?
Suffering in silence from anxiety and depression does not have to be there all the time. Our teenagers will have the option to express themselves using their devices without having to be afraid of any consequences from family, school, society, or peer pressure.
Tricia's reading at the service on behalf of the family.
This is a horrendous day for us and our families but we are happy that you are here to help us honour our beautiful son Yanni. I want to reach out to you all today and perhaps find some purpose in this nonsensical situation. You have heard today what a great person Yanni was, I don't need to tell you, you already know.
But what we have also learned is that Yanni did not reach out. He kept all of his troubles inside and no one knew how much he was hurting, including ourselves. This has to stop and it has to stop now.
Young men need to understand that to show and share their emotions is not a shameful thing. That it is ok to cry or talk out loud to people that care about them. You do not need to be stoic and brave and try and sort things out on your own. Lord knows there are enough challenges being a teenager without all of the extra pressures put on you.
Parents, this has to start with us. Please keep your children close and safe but look for changes.
Kids, you need to reach out if there are things happening in your life that are just too hard. Know that as one we love you and only want to help you.
Yanni asked that we particularly mention the good times that he had with all of you and his teachers and wanted Mr Done to know that he thought that he has done a great job with the school.
He also wanted you to remember his special handshakes that he had with a lot of you and asked that you used them every now and again in the air. Finally, Yanni was well known for his Hi-Fives.
ln honour of our son, and as a last tribute to him, can I please ask everyone to turn to their left and then to their right and do a hi five hold with the person next to them.
Cameron's reading at Yannis' service on behalf of the school.
"Wave to Audience" This is how Yannis would wave to me every day. lt always made me smile.
Hello everyone. I am lucky and honoured to have known Yannis as the son of my dear friends Tricia and Tasos and their daughter Zoe and as a student at Maryborough High where he made each day a pleasure.
May I ask you all 3 questions today?
What was your most treasured memory of Yannis? Mine was always the smile larger than life and the enthusiastic wave that greeted me each and every day. Looking around, I see glimpses of smiles beginning to break through and I know we are all remembering our treasured moments. Whether that be a tummy rub, or a pat on the head or even that special name and handshake he had for everyone. Maybe it was the way he raised his hand eager to be the one to help hand things out in class or the first to offer assistance if the teacher required it. Smile and remember those moments, for they are to be treasured and locked deep inside our hearts. They are ours to own and share when we are ready or if we need something to make us smile,
What lessons has Yannis taught you?
He has taught me to make light of the question we all ask, "What's up?" and then he precedes to look around as if searching for an answer in the sky. I have laughed, and I have cried thinking about Yannis and what he meant to others and what he meant to me. What was it that this caring, positive, friendly young man was put upon the earth to share, to teach?
Yannis has taught me to talk. To ask for help. To share my struggles, my grief, to not lock things away. As a male we live behind a mask and our superhero costume not letting anyone in. l am fine, don't worry about me, I can handle this, being our catch cries, Tears, emotions, showing our true feelings, showing when we are hurting and letting others in being the kryptonite to our manhood.
So, to all of the males sitting here, if Yannis has taught us all anything it has to be:
Stop hiding your pain
Real men cry
Real men embrace their emotions and show them for all the world to see
Real men ask for help and most importantly
Real men look out for each other
So, I have asked you, what was your most treasured memory of Yannis? Then I asked What lessons has Yannis taught you? I know some of you are sitting there thinking OK so that is 2 questions what comes next. In typical Yannis humour there are no more questions. As Yannis would often say, me asking if I could ask you 3 questions was the first of the 3 questions.
ln closing, I would like everyone to join me in a pledge. I will say the words and ask that you all just close your eyes and truly hear them.
Yannis, as the sun goes down today, we will smile, laugh and cry because it is ok to show emotion. We will talk to others with compassion, care, forgiveness and seek help when we require it. We will remove the masks and superhero costumes; the kryptonite can hurt us no longer. The world will see us for who we truly are.
As the late great Freddie Mercury once said:
"The most important thing is to live a fabulous life! As long as it is fabulous, I don't care how long it is!
Yannis your life was fabulous. Thank you for being a wonderful teacher.