Women & Children on the Goldfields

By Mahdi


In 1851 in Ballarat at the goldfields there were 4023 women and 12660 men and %5 of women were single. When the years go by the women joined their husbands on the goldfields. There were about 12000 children on the goldfields most were born on the goldfields and some came with their parents from Ireland, England and China.


On the goldfields in 1851 many women died from drinking the dirty, muddy water that caused dysentry, measles and diarrhoea that killed them typhoid, scarlet fever, diptheria, whooping cough that killed women,men and children. Women had to give birth in houses and most babies died because they had no medicine.

On the goldfields in 1851 many children died because of the harsh life and health was the darker side there was no good medicine.More than 200 children died and were buried at the gravestones at Pennyweight Flat children's Cementry at Castlemaine.


In the goldfields in 1851 education was bad because there wasn't many schools and there wasn't many teachers and the teachers were not trained professionals so parents had to pay more money to get a trained professional teacher. Many women had to work with no education and some had to work on the goldfields.

In the goldfields in 1851 the education for children was very poor some had to work because they couldn't afford all the money for their children to go to school.Children had to help their parents with the cooking, washing and gold digging from the goldfields. Some children had to work from the age of seven.

Roles And Responsibilities

Between 1851 and 1870 children helped their parents on the diggings life seemed like a adventure but it was a harsh life.

On the diggings it was a hard life for women there were few women that were working on the fields and some were at home taking care of their children on a small amount of money earned from making soap, bread, food and ironing. Some women joined their husbands but it wasn't a place for a respected woman.