Sylvia's first Australian passport, issued in 1976, after her receiving her citizenship in 1975, The passport expired in 1981. It documents her travels through Asia and a return trip to South Africa.

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

Australian passport for Martha Mavis S. Motherwell. It was issued on 29 Apr 1970 in Melbourne and expired after 5 years. It contains personal details and a colour photograph of Sylvia. It states that she was born in Cape Town, South Africa on 3 Jul 1939. It also describes her as being 158 cm tall with dark brown eyes and black hair. The entry and exit stamps in the passport are from India, Singapore, South Africa, Sydney, Hong Kong, Macau, Thailand and Malaysia.


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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