West puts best foot forward
Rani West with her mother, Joanne.
The Kathleen McCredie scholarship was initiated through a generous gift from the Abbotsleigh Old Girls’ Union and honours the dynamic and positive influence of Miss McCredie during her time at Abbotsleigh (1970-1987).
Recipients of the scholarship directly benefit by immersing themselves into life at Abbotsleigh, and in the case of recent Kathleen McCredie Scholar, Rani West, taking what they learn out into the world with a goal to serve others.
Rani described her time at Abbotsleigh as a boarder and scholar as “one of the best opportunities and experiences of my life.”
“When I first moved to Abbotsleigh in Year 10, the boarding community ensured my transition was seamless and enjoyable, which made it a lot easier to move away from my home in Newcastle. No matter who you were or where you came from, you were accepted as part of the boarding family, which encourages you to really be yourself and work hard towards what you want to achieve. I have immense gratitude for my time as a boarder at Abbotsleigh,” said Rani.
Rani pictured with her father, James.
During her years at the School, Rani was an active participant of the community and excelled in several of her pursuits. In Year 10 she was awarded a CSIRO Silver Crest for a science experiment she created on the impact of drag force on swimmers. She took part in the House Choir; went on a trip to Walgett in Year 10 for Applied Learning Experience working with a large population of Indigenous children in a small primary school. “I met some very driven and inspiring people that motivated me to continue giving service to our community and work towards a better world,” said Rani.
Swimming is a big part of Rani’s life and she recalls her Abbotsleigh swimming carnival and IGSSA championships as some of her highlights - in particular winning IGSSA in 2015 and her role as Swimming Captain in 2016.
Rani receiving a medal at a Swimming NSW event.
“Playing sport at Abbotsleigh is unlike anywhere else. It teaches you friendship, sportsmanship, appreciation, heathy competitiveness and passion. My role as a Prefect in 2015/16 allowed me to be involved with many fundraising opportunities that worked towards making a significant difference. In particular, our service project ‘Reach for Refuge’ and prefect theme ‘G-Up’ (Grace, Gratitude and Generosity) created awareness of others that are less fortunate and the importance of compassion and giving to the community,” said Rani.
Now out in the world and having graduated from Abbotsleigh in 2016, Rani says her passion lies in helping others. She has been awarded a scholarship to Bond University on the Gold Coast for her academic, sporting and leadership performances. She plans to study Exercise and Sport Science and continue into further studies to someday be involved with high-performance sport. And of course, her swimming will continue to be a priority.
“The Kathleen McCredie Scholarship opened endless doors of opportunities for me that I could never have had or imagined. It changed my life. It was inspiring to be recognised for my hard work, and to be offered an all-round education is something for which I am endlessly grateful. Abbotsleigh is not only driven by its academic focus but also the areas of sport, music, theatre, spiritual and service. This scholarship has broadened my understanding of what I am capable of and exposed me to new and incredible experiences. To me, it means passion, determination, empowerment and humility. It has taught me the importance of grace, gratitude, generosity and grit, and through both intellectual and emotional growth, you become awakened to so many new understandings,” said Rani.
If you'd like to learn more about this scholarship or to make a tax-deductible donation, please visit our Giving pages on the website.