Anastasia was born around 1818 in Kilkenny, Ireland. She married Timothy Hayes and immigrated with him and their five children to Australia, arriving in October 1852. The family lived in a tent on the gold fields of Eureka where in 1854 Anastasia taught at St Alipius Catholic school. Anastasia quickly gained a reputation as a ‘firebrand’. With two other women she was thought to have sewn the Eureka flag.

She attended Lalor when his arm was amputated in Father Smyth’s tent and threw it down a shaft. Anastasia Hayes reported that she saw the battle and ‘afterwards I saw many of the wounded , and did all that lay in my power to alleviate their sufferings. The sight was one that touched me very much and I shall never forget it. Many of the poor fellows were besmeared with blood and writhing in agony from the wound’.

She died on 6 April 1892 aged 74 years and was buried in the Ballarat Old Cemetery, E2 Section 26 Row 2 Grave 7