Women & Children on the Goldfields

By Savain 5T


In 1854 there were approximately 4000 women on the goldfields in Ballarat compared to about 12500 men. Most of these women were married.

Roles and Responsibilities of Women

1. cooking

2. singing and dancing for diggers

3. some women were diggers

4. shopkeepers

5. caring for children

6. Making bread, butter and jams

Children and Education

Children moved schools often. Parents kept moving to find richer goldfields. Often there was no schooling because there was no school built. Schools were made from tents and the roof was made from a canvas material.


On the goldfields many children died because of the foul muddy water they had to drink. Conditions were poor. Cemeteries were set up to bury the dead. People died from whooping cough and measles because there were no hospitals.