Australian passport belonging to Sylvia Motherwell. It was issued in 1990 and expired in 2000. It includes a colour photograph of Sylvia. The entry and exit stamps show several trips to Asia and two visits to her native 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 Marther Mavis Sylvia Motherwell. It was issued on 24 Dec 1990 and expired on 24 Dec 2000. 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. The entry and exit stamps in the passport are from Singapore, the Philippines, Hong Kong, Melbourne, Malaysia, Indonesia and South Africa.


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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