Life on the Goldfields

Binding: Paperback

Imprint: Black Dog Books

Our Stories Series

Age 8+

History & The Past: General Interest People & Places Educational: History

What was life actually like on the goldfields?

People travelled from all over the world to seek their fortune on the Australian goldfields. But when they got to Australia, they found life was tough. The diggers lived in makeshift tents that didn't keep out the weather or thieves. The food was bad, clean water was scarce and every day was full of danger. How did these early emigrants make a life for themselves in this harsh new place? Focusing on the Victorian diggings, Life on the Goldfields shows how these improvised communities became town and cities.


In 1858, Doug Bradby's paternal grandfather walked to Ballarat as a 10-year-old boy with his widowed mother. His maternal grandfather worked as a contractor erecting poppet heads on the Ballarat mines. He dismantled the last mine in Ballarat in 1920. Doug is a retired history teacher and taught for 30 years in Ballarat schools. He is currently Sovereign Hill's ambassador to local schools and a guide at the gold museum.


The book is a great teaching and learning tool about life on the goldfields of Victoria and the strains and pressures, loneliness and deprivation experienced by the men, women and children that lived there…The outstanding images chosen and used in the book bring us visually closer to the facts which have been checked by the Education Officer of Sovereign Hill.

Buzzwords Magazine

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