Ingrid Gäng

I'm an expatriate Australian (therefore the reference to

Oz at the meeting on June 01). I came to Germany on a one-year scholarship

in 1982 and stayed on, studying (my background is Germanic Studies) and

working (first giving English classes in adult education and then as a

foreign-language secretary). For the past five years, I have been with an

insurance broking company in a dead-end secretarial job which started out

to be quite promising but which is slowly killing off my brain cells. So,

I'm trying to keep them working by preparing for an exam at the end of the

year with the German Chamber of Industry and Commerce to become a

recognised translator. And then I'm hoping to switch from daily commuting

to work to daily computing at my desk at home and freelance translation



So far, I have lead a relatively apolitical life (bar participation in

demonstrations during my university days) and have had little to no contact

with psychology other than having read the odd book or two. However, since

becoming a mother (one daughter, Rebecca, now 8 years old), I have

developed a keener awareness of my own shortcomings as a

mother/wife/daughter/person as a result of the patterns set down by my

parents and am in a constant battle with my inner self to overcome these.


Jochen, Rebecca and I were in Australia on holidays in March/April and had

just returned to Germany when the Port Arthur massacre occurred. Two years

ago, we also spent an entire day in the grounds of the Port Arthur prison,

and it was particularly chilling to realise that it was really only a

matter of chance, luck, whatever, that it didn't happen then, when we were

present. And then it slowly hit home that the same kind of thing could

happen in the pedestrian mall of Dinslaken or just wherever one or all of

us happened to be ...


I deplore the increase of violence in our world and find it terrifying that

even in a country where there is no imminent threat of war there is no

feeling of security. I would like to think that joining up with you at WAVE

and becoming actively involved will make some difference (to me as a person

and to society in general). At the same time, when I see how inadequately I

cope with daily frustrations (work, family, nosy neighbours, German society

in general, etc.) I wonder what impact I can make. However, with all your

support, I'm standing up to be counted and I hope I can make some decent



In hope and peace.


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