There were mostly men on the goldfields very few women, the goldfields was not seen as a good place for a women to live as it was rough and dirty But, from the beginning, there were women who went to the goldfields with their husbands, brothers or friends. They shared all the discomforts of life on the diggings even though they wernt looking for gold they worked just as hard as the men: washing, cooking, chopping wood and sometimes helped out searching for gold.
Other women travelled to the gold- fields later when their husbands had found enough gold to build more comfortable huts and send for their wives and children. They often kept a few hens and goats so that their children would have better food. As the number of women on the goldfields increased, life became more settled. in a regular daily routine to work, and back to their meals, and to their homes at evening.
There were other women on the goldfields. Laundresses took in the washing that men were too busy to wash themselves. Many storekeepers were women. Prostitutes, dancers and actresses drifted to the goldfields where they made a good living entertaining the diggers.
Many children went to the goldfields with their parents and by December 1852 there were almost 12000 children on the Victorian diggings. Most of them spent their childhood helping their parents search for gold. They carried wood, looked after the tent or hut, cared for the horses and fossicked among the ‘tailings’ or left-over gravel and sand. Older children were expected to work as hard as adults.
Some parent sent their children to school on the diggings. Goldfields schools started in tents, some of which were big enough to holdup to a hundred children, sitting at long wooden benches. The children’s parents paid a fee so that their children could go to school. As you could imagine the standard of education from these schools was not very high. Children moved from one goldfield to another. If there was no teacher...