Comedian Rachel Berger

Rachel Berger Talks of Her Experiences

On Sunday 15th December, at our last meeting for the year, Rachel Berger addressed an audience of over 200 people.

Rachel is a stand-up comedian who has performed both live and on television across Australia and overseas; such as "The Big Gig" and at the Edinburgh Comedy Festival.

Rachel, a Second Generation, was born in Israel and grew up in Melbourne. She generously shared with us her experiences of growing up in survivor family - experiences many of us empathised with. Her talk, which and was injected with gentle humour and sharp observations, was followed by questions from the audience. The subjects she covered ranged from racism and growing up in Melbourne's Western suburbs to fear and guilt and her parents' tenacity, courage and strength to have survived their traumatic experience.

Rachel talked about laughter - how it broke the tension and the air changed when there was laughter in the house. She described the use of humour as a defence and a mechanism for getting in touch with her feelings.

She mentioned the similarities with other ethnic groups; for example Vietnamese people are starting to use humour now as a way of dealing with their trauma, and how it may take a generation for this to happen. Rachel also described how humour alleviates fear. And by laughing at ourselves the fear becomes something we can deal with.

We were very privileged to have Rachel Berger share her personal experiences with us. The well attended function was a wonderful finale to 1996 and we go into 1997 with an exciting program of speakers, panels, sharing sessions, film nights and other projects.

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