Goldfields: Women & Children

By Tommy

introduction

There were few doctors on the goldfields, and those that were there charged a lot of money for a consultation. "It is no joke to get ill at the diggings; doctors make you pay for it," wrote Ellen Clacy, "many are regular quacks, and these seem to flourish best." More than 160,000 women were among the 600,000 who arrived in Victoria between 1851 and 1860. Those accompanying their husbands (or who were daughters travelling with their family) felt that Australia offered a chance for a better life.

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Women's Health

There were few doctors on the goldfields, and those that were there charged a lot of money for a consultation. "It is no joke to get ill at the diggings; doctors make you pay for it," wrote Ellen Clancy , "many are regular quacks, and these seem to flourish best." Women didn't have good health because they had to give birth in goldfields or die from horrible diseases. When women gave birth they sometimes died after their baby came out.

Education

Children's education wasnt very high because they probaly move to lots to school so their parents can find richer goldmines or their parents come from the other side of the world and cant speak english or any other language. Their parents cant teach them because he or she also wasnt educated when they were younger. Schools had to built on the goldfields but more and more goldmines were popping up soit took long periods for schools to be built. Some people build their own school which can fit 100 people. And if parents wanted their children to go there, the owner places a piece of log where people had to pay fees for them. The people from the school only teaches standard education so the childrens brain wasnt high. Some parents didnt want them to go to school because they wanted them to help dig up grains or nuggets. Childrens childhood is mostly helping their parents by carrying wood helping stay guard of the tent,cared for the horses and fossickedamong the 'tailings' or left over gravel and sand

Women And Childrens Health

Childrens health was horrible because they suffered death or terrible deseases like diahrrea, dysentery, sanitation and measles. The place where they burrry children, women and men are in Pennywieght Flats Children's Cemetery in Castlemaine. The reason why the name had children in it was that more children died than women and men. It was recorded at least 200 children died there :( In the 1800's, an Australian women wishing to become a doctor had a tough struggle ahead of her. There are also horrible deaths like women dieing when finished giving birth or other women assisting women when giving birth to calm them or get the things they need for the job. Giving birth there was harder compared today because they weren't always assisted while giving birth but today giving birth was assisted by expert nurses or their husbands.In goldfields people health wasnt normal because they had to drink water from muddy rivers or less supplies of food and water.

Jobs

Roles and Responsibility of Women in the Goldfields

In goldfields women washed and cooked for the children and the men. Some of them danced and sang for the men so they wouldnt stop working. Some of them helped the men with digging, and others were shopkeepers. Women were expected to iron, cook and washing. They made soap, bread, butter, jam and clothes for their family. When they needed water from creeks or lakes the water is unfresh and dirty. When women gave childbirth in the goldfields, other women helped. Some women died when they gave birth. Some of the men works from dawn to dusk and 6 days a week. By December 1852 there wssd almost 12000 children working in Victoria.