Coppel became a barrister for five years after completing his degree in law from the University of Melbourne. He received his doctorate in political science from Monash University in 1975 with a dissertation titled Indonesian Chinese in Crisis. Coppel's dissertation was published in 1983 and became one of the most widely read titles on Chinese Indonesian politics.
Charles Coppel is the son of the late Dr Elias Godfrey Coppel KC, a Melbourne barrister. He has a brother who was a mathematician and his brother studied at Cambridge university. His brother used to live in Canberra but recently moved to Melbourne. Charles lives in Melbourne and is married to Suzy Nixon. They are ruled by two whippets, Oscar and Lizzie. He is also quite fond of cats, according to his grandcat Hedda. He was previously married to Tania Coppel. Charles has three children, Louisa, Patrick and Len, and a granddaughter Zara.
|Wikisource has original works written by or about:
- "Charles Coppel". Shao Center Database on Scholars and Librarians in Chinese Overseas Studies. Retrieved 3 February 2010.
- "Charles Coppel". University of Melbourne. Retrieved 3 February 2010.
- Dawis, Aimee (3 November 2009). "Charles Coppel: The accidental provocateur". The Jakarta Post. Retrieved 3 February 2010.
- Victorian Bar Association Retrieved 8 October 2012
- National Library of Australia Retrieved 8 October 2012