Goldfields: Women & Children

By Mary


In 1854 there were 4023 women at the Ballarat goldfields. There were 208 women were in paid employment. Only 5% of women were single on the goldfields, 8% of women were storekeepers. There were 136 women as gold miners, but then it was recorded that after a while there were 9135 women on the goldfields.There were were 3000 to 4000 children on the gold fields.

Children moved schools frequently because their parents moved locations in search of gold. Moving to new locations also meant that schools were not established. Children had to wait for an education of their own. Many children did not speak english and could not read or write.

Some children received no education, these children had to work on the goldfields panning for gold or performing duties such as cleaning and looking after horses.

A few women went to the goldfields some women were diggers and some women were shopkeepers. Many women and children stayed at home but when there was gold found by their husbands their wives would always come. A Womens roll was washing , ironing and cooking.

Women's Health

On the Austrailan goldfields, the health of women and children was very poor. Many women died because of the bad diseases like dysentery, cholera and many more. Some died from the dirty water that they drank from the rivers or lakes. Many women gave birth to children on the goldfields, other women helped mothers to be giving birth.

Children's Health

On the Australian goldfields, many children died because of the many diseases such as dysentery, cholera, sanitation and measles.Many died beacause of drinking too much dirty water. Some children still survived with diseases, although children who survived were very ill.