Women on the Goldfields

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by parischye
Last updated 8 years ago

Social Studies
American History

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Women on the Goldfields

Background InformationThe first Gold Rush in Australia was in 1851 and ended in 1899. Men came from all over the world to find gold. Women went to the goldfields when their husbands had found enough gold to build more comfortable huts for them and their children to live in. Women came from all over the world to go to the goldfields in Australia. Some women sold coffee at coffee tents and some coffee tents sold illegal alcohol at the back of the tent. Most women walked to the goldfields and carried their possessions in a bag, others pushed wheelbarrows and some rode horses. A typical day for women on the goldfields was waking up before or at dawn and restrike the fire. Then they would do the weekly wash depending on the day, ironing, mending, darning, knitting and sowing. If the day was fine on the goldfields, women and their children would help their husbands pan for gold.

Women on the Goldfields

Interesting FactsA famous woman who is still remembered today is Margaret Kennedy. She is famous because she found gold in the wealthy Bendigo Goldfields in the creek bed in September 1851. On the goldfields in 1853 there were 10,747 women and the total population was 123000 people. There were not many women on the goldfields when it first started, after some time, more women went to the goldfields.

BibliographyWebsiteswww.kidcyber.com www.skwirk.comwww.goldrushcolony.com.auwww.egold.net.auBooksLife On The Goldfields,Melanie Guile, 2006

Their Relationship With OthersWhen a woman gave birth to a baby, other women would have assisted her. That was the only time they interacted with someone that was not their family. People did not treat them in a negative or positive light; they stayed at home most of the time and rarely ventured outside.

Their Role in the GoldrushWomen played an important role in the Gold Rush because they had to cook meals, wash clothes and operate boarding houses. One of the daily challenges that women faced on the goldfields was loneliness because since their husbands were busy digging for gold, they had to do everything without company.


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