Follow the lives of the women of the goldfields of Ballarat. The first season stars Harriet Hayes, Ellen Reid, Jean Carey, Beatrice Walters and Frances Bond. The series premieres in December 1854.
Meet the Housewives
Harriet accompanies her husband on the goldfields. Ellen and Jean meet for lunch on Lydiard Street.
Tensions run high as the ladies debate whether to join protests against the colonial government.
Ellen takes up work in a sly-grog shanty. Frances juggles her duties in the home.
The ladies show their support for Beatrice after her daughter tragically succumbs to a fever.
10,000 Miles from Home
Ellen writes home to her mother in London about her loneliness and the dire conditions on the Ballarat goldfields.
Threading the Needle
Mourning the loss of one of her children, Beatrice remains at home where she is busy repairing her husband’s clothing.
Frances and Jean go inside the Eureka Stockade to support their husbands.
Battle After Battle
Harriet fears her future following the death of her husband John in the Eureka Stockade riot.
Nowhere to Go
Enduring abuse at home, Jean feels trapped both on the goldfields and in her marriage.
This Woman’s Work
Struggling on her own, widow Harriet is forced to turn to prostitution in order to make a living.
Searching for a Breakthrough
With her husband struggling on the goldfields, homemaker Frances uses her skills to find work as a dressmaker.
After striking it rich on the goldfields, Beatrice, her husband and surviving child leave Ballarat to make a life in Melbourne.
Images used are in the public domain. Click here for full image credits. Header image is Panoramic View of the Ballarat Diggings (1854) by Eugene von Guérard.
- Zealous Gold Diggers by Samuel Thomas Gill
- Two Women by Paul Gavarni
- Sly grog shanty on the road to Bendigo 1852 Samuel Thomas Gill
- Bush Funeral by Samuel Thomas Gill
- Study by Chales Samuel Keene
- Diggers Hut Forest Creek by Samuel Thomas Gill
- Swearing Allegiance to the Southern Cross by Charles A Doudiet
- Eureka Stockade Riot by JB Henderson
- For Ladies Only by Samuel Thomas Gill
- Young peasant woman by Jules Bastien-Lepage
- Trying the dress by Auguste Delatre
- Lucky digger that returned by Samuel Thomas Gill