Beate was born in Wiesbaden, West Germany, and always regarded the elegant capital of Hesse as her home. She studied History and English at the universities of Mainz and Freiburg, majoring in East European history and gained a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree from the University of Hanover. After a short visit in 1971 under the auspices of a European Working Visit Scheme, Beate chose to settle in Adelaide for personal reasons. A year later she began her (German) (PhD) on contemporary Australian poetry, an involvement which soon also had its personal side. She met poet Andrew Taylor at this time and their daughter Sarah was born in 1981.
While in Adelaide Beate worked at the University radio studio 5UV (1984-1992), producing the programs Writer's Radio and Author's Proof 1985-1992, and was much involved with Writers' Week, which she chaired in 1986 and 1988. She read at a number of venues including Friendly Street in 1986, 1988 and 1990, the South Australian Writers' Centre in 1991, and at Kiel and Tübingen universities, Germany, in 1991.
Beate has written and published in German and in English. It took some years for Beate to write her own poetry. Translating poetry from German eased the way. As well as the work listed below she has published her PhD thesis Das Bild Suburbias in der modernen australischen Dichtung (Frankfurt, 1979).
Moving to Perth in 1992 she became a lecturer in Media Studies at Edith Cowan University, and later, Head of Journalism at that university. She has served on the editorial board of the cultural studies journal, Continuum. She has continued her radio work on a freelance basis, both within the ABC and on German radio stations, and also continued her literary translations, poetry writing and travelling, where time has permitted.