Women & Children on the Goldfields

by youssef


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

roles and rosponsibilities

Most women stayed at home to clean and make clothes. They would also wake up before dawn to restoke the fire. They would then make dough and put yeast in it and heat it to make bread. They would sometimes help their husband pan for gold. Some women would open shops and sell alcohol.


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. The roof was made from a canvas material.


Conditions were poor on the goldfeilds. Many chidren died because of the foul muddy waters they had to drink.

People died from whooping cough, measles and others diseases because there were no hospitals. Cemeteries were set up to bury the dead.

Women helped other women give birth because nurses and medicines were limited. Often, a male would play the role of 4 or 5 porfessionals. It was common that a doctor was also the communites barber and dentist.

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