Many of you will have known Rani Middleton. Rani was one of the most extraordinary individuals in our community, who tragically passed away in 2018. Rani was a passionate and gifted artist and educator and a dear friend to many of us at Barking Gecko. Rani was only 34 years old when she died of bowel cancer, but her impact on so many of us and on the lives of numerous young people will be felt for many years to come.
Late last year I was approached by a group of Rani’s friends who wanted to do something to celebrate Rani’s life through Barking Gecko. So, with their generous support, we have decided to create the Rani Middleton Scholarship. This scholarship will fund a child from regional WA without the resources to attend a Gecko Ensemble to come along at no cost to them. Recipients will be chosen each term with the aid of our regional teaching artists.
I knew Rani as a teaching artist, first through Bell Shakespeare where she won the Regional Teacher’s Scholarship, dazzling us all with her passionate love of theatre, her gift for teaching, her joyous presence and her infectious zest for life. Then for the last three years Rani worked with us at Barking Gecko, during which time she was at the heart and soul of our regional teaching artist team.
Rani was one of those rare and luminous individuals whose manifold acts of kindness and inspiration will continue to illuminate and inspire for years to come, as the children she has taught carry her lessons into adulthood. None of us in the arts find our way without these wise and enigmatic guides to light our path. Rani was a mentor, educator and friend for countless young people over the years. Her heart was always with the battlers. She looked out for those kids struggling to be in the room, whether through financial difficulty, shyness or social circumstance. Rani’s advocacy for the importance of art in the lives of all children in Broome and the Kimberly was a continual inspiration to us at Barking Gecko, and a provocation to provide creative opportunities to those who need them most.
Rani’s death is still raw for many of us. But we are determined to remember her for who she was and try to live up to the work she did. If you would like to make a donation towards the Rani Middleton Scholarship, please email us at email@example.com or donate via this link.
We miss you Rani.