Completed application for an Australian passport for Sylvia Motherwell. She states that she is an Australian citizen, although her citizenship certificate is dated September 1975. Her witness was Billy Hyde, who was her husband Lindsay's employer in Sydney. Sylvia migrated to Australia from South Africa with her Australian husband, Lindsay Motherwell.

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

Two-page, double-sided application form for an Australian passport. It has been filled out by Martha Mavis Sylvia Motherwell, with all her details including address, telephone number, birth details, physical description, countries she plans to visit, details of spouse, consent of spouse, and witness.


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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