South African passport for Martha Mavis Sylvia Boyes. It was issued in 1967 and expired in 1970. It contains a black and white photograph of Sylvia and details of her leaving South Africa and arriving in England.

Sylvia Boyes (a South African-born orphan) and Lindsay Motherwell (a Melbourne-born drummer) met in Cape Town, South Africa in 1967 through their theatre connections. They fell in love but due to apartheid laws were forced to leave South Africa to marry in London. They subsequently relocated permanently to Melbourne in 1970.

Physical Description

South African passport containing personal details and a black and white passport photograph. It states that her occupation was domestic servant, she was born in South Africa on 3 Jul 1939. It also describes her as female, 5 ft 1 in, with dark brown eyes and black hair. It also states her identity number. The stamps in the passport demonstrate her exit from South Africa and entry into Britain.


Statement of Historical Significance:
This collection provides a significant opportunity to represent political and personal freedom as a motivation for migrating to Australia within the international context of both apartheid in South Africa and the end of the White Australia policy in Australia. The personal narrative is well documented and the objects provide a material way to follow the lives of both Lindsay and Sylvia, both separately and where they coincide in South Africa and onwards together to Melbourne. While this is ultimately a love story, it plays out through the collection against the backdrop of apartheid South Africa, sixties London and an increasingly multicultural Australia.

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