Goldfield: Women & Children

By Isaac America, Chicago

Women and Men In The Goldfields

Between 1851-1860, more than 160,000 women and 600,000 men arrived at the Gold \fields in Victoria. 95% of people in the Golfields were married and 5% were single. Lots died from a disease and others died from their age. Women in the Goldfields, numbers were forever changing. In the beginning many women did not go to the Goldfields but by 1854, it was noted that there was 4023 women compared to 12660 men.

Education

Since the children's parents move around alot to find richer goldfields, they had to change schools often.It was difficult for them to construct buildings and all schools back then were tents. This problem was fixed when the government decided to build his/her own school. Schools needed to be build on goldfields but since goldfields were always found all over Australia, it took them longer and was more difficult for them. Later in the 1920's, buses were made to pick up children from home to get to their schools. This was invented when an Inspector found out that children were kept home because of all the snow and they had no shoes to wear.

Jobs For Women in Goldfields

Women were there to wash clothes, cook food, it was all on women to find water but it was an unlikely chance for it to rain everyday. They also sang for all the men to cheer them up! Some women helped the men to be diggers and others worked in shops. About 160,000 women travelled to the goldfields to help their husbands in work and over 600,000 men were there.

Women and Children's Health On Goldfields

Women and Children's health in the Goldfields was problematic and hundreds of them died. They had to make every resource like milking cows, getting wood, making food and finding water. A lot of women needed help from other women. Many women died during childbirth. Diseases such as whipping coughs, measles and diphtheria was very usual in the goldfields,they even had diarrhea! They had a cemetry named "Children's Cemetry" and more than 200 children were buried there.