Women & Children on the Goldfields

By Jessica


In the early 50's there were few women on the goldfields, but a few years later more women came to Austraila with their husbands to the goldfields. Some men didn't want there wife to come with them to the goldfields. The women stayed home instead of going with their husbands to the goldfields. They took care of there children and cooked,cleaned and sold things that men needed to stay healthy on the goldfields. But they didn't sell drugs because they weren't allowed. If they did sell drugs they would be in big trouble with the troopers.

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Some women on the goldfields entertained the men by dancing. When the men liked there dancing they usually threw small gold nuggets on the stage. A lady named Martha Glendinning went to Ballarat to open a shop with her sister.They didnt sell alcohol, they only sold good things like food and healthy drinks so the miners would buy them because the miners didnt bring alot of food with them.

It was hard for children on the goldfields because their mother and father moved alot to different places on the goldfields because their parents wanted to find richer goldfields. If the children would go to school they would have to move to another school closer to where they lived.

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On the goldfields it was really hard to stay fit and healthy,but some people managed to survive. There were not many doctors on the goldfields as there was only 1 or 2 but they were busy every single day. When the doctors were to busy to help some women to give birth other women they knew helped them give birth. On the goldfields there were no hospitals so the people who lived on the goldfields who had really bad dieases would have to die. People died from whooping cough, measles and many other dieases because there were no hospitals. Often, a male would play the role of 4 or 5 professionals. lt was common that a doctor was also the communites barber and dentist.
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Schools were made from tents and the roof was made from canvas material. Many children didn't go to school everyday only sometimes. In some peoples belief boys would have to go to school more often then girls. lf the parents would want there children to go to school they would have to see how many days or months they would want their children to stay in that school. Some teachers didn't know how to teach that much because they didn't teach children that much.