An Australian in Berlin: He left the beaches of Brisbane for the cold of Germany and his dream job abroad.
“I think it is great that old traditions and values still mean something in Germany. The liberal-minded Germans and their openness and ability to be so direct is really impressive. Being in the heart of Europe and living among so many different cultures and languages is also great.”
And Ben now feels at home in Germany: But along with the country and its people, he also likes German cooking. Rheinischer Sauerbraten and Düsseldorfer Senfrostbraten are his favorites.
“But you can’t beat a good Aussie meat pie with tomato sauce. Pavlova is also a winner – with fresh strawberries and cream! And the mangoes Down Under are the best in the world.”
“I love telling stories, whether they’re mine or someone else’s.”
Throughout his career as a reporter, TV and radio host, he worked at many challenging events. A highlight was reporting as a sports journalist from the FIFA World Cup in 2006.
“I’d always wanted to make sure I went to at least one big football match while I was here in Germany, but to go to a dozen and report on them was amazing.”
It was especially challenging to cover politics. “My most challenging assignment was the 1998 waterfront dispute in Australia, which was a watershed in Australian industrial relations. As a young radio reporter down at the picket line in Brisbane for months, it was difficult to come up with a new lead every half hour for the news. And it wasn’t the easiest having striking workers spit and throw things at my car, after one of our station’s hosts accused them of being ‘lazy bludgers’.”
Ben is now an accomplished journalist with international experience. But he knows that it is the simple things that mean a lot.
“Health, wealth and happiness, as my grandfather always said – although the health and happiness parts are a lot more important.”
And when all of his goals have been reached, he will start working on his dream: “To have a little house one day, somewhere in the world, right on the beach – with a mango tree and avocadoes.”
Text: Elena Isayenko
Edited by: Adelheid Lucas
Translated by: Wesley Rahn