Anzac C Company

Place Oceania: Australia, Queensland
Accession Number AWM2017.1430.1
Collection type Art
Measurement Sheet: 121.2 x 80.9 cm; Image: 73.8 x 41.2 cm
Object type Print
Physical description lino print
Maker Tipoti, Alick
Place made Australia: Queensland, North Queensland, Torres Strait, Badu (Mulgrave Island)
Date made 2017
Conflict Second World War, 1939-1945
Period 2010-2019

Item copyright: AWM Licensed copyright


In 2016, the Memorial appointed internationally renowned Badu Islander artist Alick Tipoti (b. 1974) as an Official War Artist to document the 51st Battalion in Far North Queensland and in August 2016, Alick visited C 'Charlie' Company. From his deployment, Tipoti has created a suite of 6 paintings along with 6 lino prints titled 'ANZAC C Company' that relate to the choreography and chant of a new dance that he has created for the Sarpeye Dancers. Of the prints, Alick said: "On each lino print I show silhouette images of soldiers representing our Country. In front of them are figures of Torres Strait Islander ancestral images in dancing postures telling stories of World War 2. The patterns inside these images are patterns representing our strong Island culture [...] some images have Kuyku Zamiyak (head piece - in this case, war planes). In their hands they hold a Kulap (a rattler/shaker made of seeds)" Alick Tiopti, 2018.

Charlie Company is one of four companies from the 51st Far North Queensland Regiment based in the Torres Strait. The company plays an important role in protecting Australia's national borders that stretch between Cape York and Papua New Guinea. The nickname for the unit is 'Sarpeye' which literally translates to 'sharp-eye', and refers to the hunter-like instinct of the sea eagle which is the unit's totem. A unique identity of Charlie Company is its military dance performers known as the Sarpeye Dance Troupe. Formed in the late 1980s. it remains the only contemporary Regional Force Surveillance dance troop to perform in the Australian Army. Their dances explore ideas about contemporary camaraderie and mateship, as well as pay homage to Islander heritage of the modern day soldier. Today they are performed in both private military gatherings as well as more publicly attended Australian Defence Force events.