Becoming Kalgoorlie : gold mining, brothels, and ‘skimpie’ bars

Mayes, Robyn, Pini, Barbara, & Boyer, Kate (2015) Becoming Kalgoorlie : gold mining, brothels, and ‘skimpie’ bars. Griffith Review, 47.

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On our first day in Kalgoorlie, a local woman in her mid-thirties tells us that ‘Kal wouldn’t exist if it wasn’t for mining and prostitution’. In the ensuing days many others would tell us the same thing. More explicitly, in the words of another local resident, ‘The town was founded on brothels. [Without them] the men wouldn’t have been happy and they wouldn’t have got as much gold.’ These two phenomena – mining and prostitution – and their seemingly natural and straightforward connection to each other are also routinely invoked in tourist and popular culture depictions of Kalgoorlie. The Lonely Planet, for example, notes that ‘historically, mineworkers would come straight to town to spend disposable income at Kalgoorlie’s infamous brothels, or at pubs staffed by “skimpies” (scantily clad female bar staff)’.

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ID Code: 82073
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: No
Keywords: Kalgoorlie, Gold Mining, Brothels
ISSN: 1448-2924
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY (160000) > SOCIOLOGY (160800)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > QUT Business School
Current > Schools > School of Management
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2015 [please consult the author]
Deposited On: 27 Feb 2015 01:54
Last Modified: 04 Mar 2015 01:52

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