Women & Children on the Goldfields

by Paris


In 1854 in Ballarat there were about 4000 women compared to 12500 men digging for gold. Approximately 5% of the women on the goldfields were single. As the years went by more women came out to join there husband's in the goldfields.

Many children went to the goldfields with their parents but most children were born there. There were about 12000 children on the Victorian diggings in December 1852.


On the goldfields health care was unsatisfactory. Especially for the young children that were there. Most of the children had diseases like measles and typhoid from drinking dirty water from the muddy ground. Children also had to suffered through the basic living conditions and the harsh weather on the goldfields.

Women also suffered from losing their babies while giving birth on the goldfields. They lost their babies while giving birth because they did not have hospitals and professional doctors. Other women did give their best to help them when giving birth.Even though they had the help of other women their babies still died from the wild conditions.


On the goldfields it was tough for children beacause their parents had to move around,looking for new and richer goldfields.Children's education was bad beacause when their parents moved to richer goldfields they had to move schools.The children had to move schools alot,they had to move schols every time their parents move goldfields.Some children had to be educated by their mothers.

Women had no education.They did not go to school because they were expected to be wives and mothers.

Roles and responibilities

On the goldfields women had to do lots of work.They had to wash clothes, cook for their husbands and children and chop wood for fires. Some women were diggers or shopkeepers. If women did not do all those things they were either dancers or singers.