Vale Frank Ryan – Announcer, environmental educator, change-agent and the reason we have ‘Eye of the Tiger’ as our anthem

Vale Frank Ryan – Announcer, environmental educator, change-agent and the reason we have ‘Eye of the Tiger’ as our anthem

The Energy Breakthrough has lost a legend with the recent passing of Frank Ryan due to illness. Announcer, environmental educator and change-agent, Frank would be remembered by many for his up-front work on stage at our event. He is also the reason we have Eye of the Tiger as our anthem.

“We recruited Frank and the Vox Bandicoot team in 1992 and continued his involvement with the program until 2005,”Energy Breakthrough Event Director, John Stafford said.

Vox Bandicoot were leaders in enhancing and changing cultures, through education and learner infused participation. Vox Bandicoot became our number one fans and took on various roles, promoting the Energy Breakthrough (EB), liaising with schools, sponsor management and stage work. Frank was a huge part of the whole EB experience. Many kids grew up idolising Frank and his Vox Bandicoot team.

“He was inspiring, brilliant, irreverent, chaotic, dramatic, creative, innovative and unbelievably loyal.”

Loyal to causes and issues that he was passionate about and people. He had a presence. When Frank entered the room, took the stage, took the microphone things happened and everyone knew it,” John said.

He was the ‘brainchild’ as such behind ‘our music’, too. The use of Survivor’s Eye of the Tiger – actually began as a joke between himself and John Doolan to find the daggiest 80’s rock song he could find. Little did they know at the time, but that song would send shivers of excitement down the spines of many children over the coming decades.

Frank coined the phrase”the green grand prix’and spoke and lived environmental education. He was our mentor in the early years about how EB could change the way people saw the world and lived on the planet. Frank created many of our curriculum resources, the best being “Into the Future”.

“He remained committed to and passionate about Energy Breakthrough. He loved the event which is shaped by his passion, his personality and his commitment to a better world,” John said.

The RACV’s Ernest Litera, who worked alongside John and Frank for nearly a decade and a half, also had fond memories of Frank:

“Asked to appear on ABC radio to promote the EB program he was asked not to mention the naming rights sponsor, at that time the RACV, the ABC being non-commercial. This, of course, was like a red rag to a bull! Frank made sure he mentioned the RACV in every sentence he uttered from that point on, much to the frustration of the presenter who was unable to edit out the craftily constructed responses always containing an RACV reference!”

… and we will continue to play Eye of the Tiger with great energy in Frank’s memory.

By |2018-08-02T11:54:12+00:00August 2nd, 2018|Generally Newsworthy|4 Comments

About the Author:

Nigel Preston is a self-confessed 'HPV Tragic'. After 'catching the bug' from his older brother, he helped launch the RACV Energy Breakthrough program at Eaglehawk SC with his dad and some mates way back in 1998. Having participated in the RACV EB for four years he finished his VCE in 2001 and volunteering to help with the event management straight away. He's been helping out ever since. Nigel has also been a part of teams that have taken line honours at the RACV EB in 2000 & 2001 (Bendigo Senior SC); the Australian International Pedal Prix 2003, 2004 & 2009 (Bendigo Youth Racing).


  1. wendy mcivor August 3, 2018 at 9:43 pm

    Frank will be fondly remembered by all those from the Maryborough Tennis Center EB catering team, who shared his good humor and passion for the breakthrough as we served him food for many years.

  2. Jen Skate August 17, 2018 at 8:29 am

    I worked with Frank as part of the Vox Crew in the early 90s at the EB, liaising with schools, then at the event, those early mornings and late nights – calling the race, juggling, interviewing students on mic, and of course, pressing play for Eye Of The Tiger. What an incredible project! Working with Frank was the most creative, energetic, and passionate time in my working life.

  3. Gary king August 31, 2018 at 2:15 pm

    Be stirred Ye villagers to work for the garden in the spirit of Francis !!!

  4. helen laffin October 12, 2018 at 10:52 pm

    My dad worked with him too John Laffin and loved it with a passion. Frank will be missed but has passed his energy on to others.

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