Women & Children on the Goldfields

By Seth 5n


In 1854 there were 4000 women working on the Ballarat goldfields compared to 12500 men digging for gold. Most of the women were married on the goldfields.

More women came to the goldfields throughout the years to help their husbands. Kids were also on the goldfields with their parents.There were about 12000 kids on the goldfields but most of them were born on the goldfields.


In 1851 life was difficult on the goldfields. The health of children and women was very bad. Diseases spread and their was no cure for the diseases they had. Examples of diseases on the goldfields are diptheria, whooping cough, measles, and typhoid.

Women went through alot of trouble and hard work. Women would push themselves to help their husbands even if they had a disease. There weren't that many doctors so they couldn't take medicine unless they had a herb that would be a cure to that sickness.

Children didn't have much food so their health was pretty bad and they also didn't have that much medicine. Some people used herbs for medicine as cure for their sickness. Back then the water was realy dirty and carried germs so people couldn't have daily showers to clean themselves. Many children died at birth or from the harsh enviroment.

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In 1851 their wasn't that many schools because there weren't many teachers. The parents didn't have time to teach them English and other educational information they needed to know. Many kids would live near a school but did not attend school because the teachers were untrained. Some women would teach their kids instead of school.

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Roles And Responsibilities

Most of the women stayed home.They mostly were taking care of the kids giving them food or they were making clothes and making food for the children and the men. Examples of the food they made were jam, bread and butter. They also made soap. If they weren't at home taking care of the children they were shopkeepers on the goldfields making food for the men and taking care of the men.

Children mostly were sent out on the goldfields to pan with their dads. They didn't find that much gold because they were only just learning. Some went to school and learn't English.

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