Women & Children on the Goldfields

By Eric


In 1854 there were roughly 4000 women compared to approximently 12500 men in Ballarat. In December 1852 there were around 12K children.

5% of women on the fields were single. Over the years the women's population increased. In 1960, 12000 women out of 60000 people in Victoria. Most of the women were married and on the fields with their husbands.

childrens education on the goldfields

Children had hardly any education at all. Even though education was important,nearly no children got to learn.They didn't get to learn because no schools were ever established at the time. When some schools were built the children and their families moved constantly. They usually wanted to move to richer gold fields.When there was no school their parents tought them how to do house hold tasks such as washing, cooking, growing vegetables. Children usually do physical labor.When the have time they take care of horses.

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health on the goldfields

On the goldfields health was very poor. Good medicines were in short supply so they bought it from the Chinese when available.

Women were sick with diseases like cholera, typhoid, fever, measles and dysentry.If they died they were sent to some sort of cemetery.Their immune system is stronger than childrens so they had a a higher chance of surviving diseases. Rich people would have more protection from these diseases as they would have the mopney to purchase medicine. More types of diseases are scarlet fever, whooping cough and diptheria are some.

It was even worse for the children because they did not know much about diseases.They easily died becauase they have a weaker than the older people.They died the most and went to the pennywieght flats childrens cemetary.Their immune system was more fragile than the adults.They drinked old,dirty and stinky water.

roles and responsibilities

Very few women were on the goldfields.Most of them were at home, making or cooking food such as bread, butter, jam, soap and others.When they made clothes they had to sew it themselves.

If they had no children and they had no more jobs they became shop keepers. They would earn more money that way. If they didn't have things to sell they would move into the goldfields. They would build houses,sing,dance and cook for the men.

The children's jobs were to go mine(it is labor)with their fathers or go panning.When the schools came around the children were not very good at school. If they were bad the teachers usually hit them.


Most diggers were entertained by women dancing on stage.They were paid by men throwing tiny glod nuggets at them.The most famous one was Lola Montez.She was famous by here so called'spider dance.'Lola Montez was the richest dancer of them all.She got the most gold so people tried to steal her gold and some actually tried to assasinate her.Her friends were very jelly(jealous).