Australian passport for Sylvia Motherwell. It was issued in 1981 in Melbourne and it expired in 1986. It contains a colour photograph of her. It also details a trip to India over New Years 1981-1982.

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 Mrs MOTHERWELL Martha Mavis Sylvia. It was issued on 4 Dec 1981 in Melbourne and expired on 4 Dec 1986. It contains personal details and a colour photograph. It states that she was born in Cape Town, South Africa on 3 Jul 1939. It also describes her as being 158 cm tal. The entry and exit stamps in the passport show that she left Melbourne on 26 Dec 1981, arrived in India 27 Dec 1981, left India on 14 Jan 1982 and arrived back in Melbourne on 15 Jan 1982.


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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