MINERS have long been at the centre of the goldfields' story but this week Sovereign Hill is celebrating the region's women in history and those who continue to preserve their stories.
Women in Culture is a key feature of the global Museums Week, advocating for women's roles throughout history and society.
For the women working behind the scenes at the Gold Museum, curator Snjez Cosic said this was a chance to reflect on how to better showcase diversity on the goldfields of then and now.
"For quite a long time, the focus has been on the male minters and how tough conditions were for them but there were also women and children on the goldfields, the Chinese, indigenous Australians - we've been really pushing that," Ms Cosic said.
A range of people created the bustling town and energy of our provincial city. This helps to better give a sense of who we were back then and who we have become.Snjez Cosic, Gold Museum curator
The Gold Museum has more than 150,000 historic items in its collection for Sovereign Hill Museums Association, including items on display in the outdoor museum.
The team is continuously striving to tell new stories and well-loved stories differently to engage and relate to tourists and Ballarat visitors.
Publican Eliza Perrin, who also owned a Buninyong butcher shop, is a popular tale of a determined businesswoman also juggling five children after her husband left her on the gold fields. Eleanor Lucas and the Lucas girls are becoming increasingly well-known for their textiles, philanthropic work and place in women's football history.
While the Women in Culture theme is a great chance to highlight such active successful women, Gold Museum collections manager Elizabeth Marsden loves discovering stories of "usual" women on the gold fields - their dresses and objects could tell a lot about the time.
Their stories are remarkable and seemingly normal.Elizabeth Marsden, Gold Museum collections manager
"It was really tough for them on the goldfields too," Ms Marsden said. "Sometimes there were really successful women but there were high rates of desertion on the goldfields and a lot of women were taking over and taking on business."
Sovereign Hill Museums Association is also putting the spotlight on the vast number of women involved in behind the scenes work to keep culture and tales from the gold fields alive - from the top with chief executive officer Sara Quon to the volunteer fleet.
Collections and curating for the association is a predominantly female workforce.
Volunteer coordinator Jo Gervasoni said diversity in skills, age and backgrounds was an invaluable asset for the association. Students bring energy and drive in their learning while elderly, often retired volunteers, brought a wealth of knowledge and transferable skills.
Education officer Sara Pearce said different perspectives were vital in helping to tap into a wealth of stories and material most in Ballarat would know little about.
There is a big push to open the collection more than it has been.Sara Pearce, Gold Museum education and publicity program officer
"There is a big push to open the collection more than it has been," Ms Pearce said.
"You can see this in more stories on indigenous people and children on the gold fields, it highlights how diverse it really was. This is important in helping children understand the time through stories that even their teachers might not know."
More than 5000 cultural institutions from 120 countries are celebrating Museum Week with daily social media hashtags.
- Gold Museum will offer tours of its exhibition Wonderful Things, featuring eclectic, strange and random items in the museums collection, for Ballarat Heritage Weekend. Gold Museum will also host back-of-house tours for small groups during the festival, which runs May 25-26.
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