Charlie Lynn

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Charlie Lynn

Member of Legislative Council of New South Wales
In office
19 October 1995 – 6 March 2015
Personal details
Born (1945-01-14) 14 January 1945 (age 74)
Orbost, Victoria
Political partyLiberal Party
Military service
Branch/serviceAustralian Army
Years of service1965–1986
Battles/warsVietnam War

Charlie John Stuart Lynn OAM (born 14 January 1945, in Orbost, Victoria) is a former Australian politician who served as a Liberal Party member of the New South Wales Legislative Council between 1995 and 2015.

Background and early career[edit]

Charlie Lynn was born to parents Melva and Keith Lynn, and is the eldest of eight siblings. He grew up in a small timber home on the banks of the Snowy River in East Gippsland.

Leaving school at 15, he later worked in a Country Roads Board camp at Nowa Nowa. In 1965 he was conscripted into the Australian Army, going on to serve his country in the Vietnam War as a Plant Operator with the Royal Australian Engineers in 1967. After the end of the war, he remained in the Army until 1986 and served in Singapore and the United States. He qualified as a HALO (High Altitude Low Opening) military parachutist with the US Army in 1978. He is a graduate of the Officer Cadet School, Portsea, Victoria and the Army Staff College at Fort Queenscliff, Victoria. He represented the Army in Australian Rules football, tennis, squash and marathon running.

Following his discharge from the Army, became a Special Events Organiser. He has organised the Sydney to Melbourne Ultra Marathon, the Anzac Day Marathon, the 18,000 kilometres (11,000 mi) Round Australia Relay for the Australian Cancer Foundation, the Great Australian Caravan Safari, the Darwin-Cairns-Melbourne Relay for the Melbourne Olympic Committee, and the international George Street Mile footrace. He was a Consultant to Australian Rural Leadership Foundation and also a Facilitator for Adventure West Leadership and Survival Training activities.[1]

Lynn was elected to the NSW Parliament in 1995 and served in the Legislative Council until his retirement in 2015. He was appointed Parliamentary Secretary for Veterans Affairs under Premiers Barry O'Farrell and Mike Baird from 2011 - 2015. In 2018 he was awarded an OAM for his services to the people of NSW and the NSW Parliament.

He is a Trek Leader for Adventure Kokoda and a developer of the Kokoda Youth Leadership Challenge. He held the New South Wales 24-hour Ultra Marathon record in 1985 and 1986.[2]

Lynn was instrumental in establishing the Kokoda Track Authority with the Government of Papua New Guinea in 2004 to ensure local villages along the Kokoda Trail received an equal share of benefits from the emerging trekking industry. He has lobbied the Australian Government to produce a Master Memorial Plan to protect, honour and interpret Australia and Papua New Guinea's shared wartime heritage across the Kokoda Trail.

In 2015 the Government of Papua New Guinea inducted Lynn as an Officer of Logohu in their New Year's Day Honours and Awards list 'for service to the bilateral relations between Papua New Guinea and Australia and especially in the development of the Kokoda Trail and its honoured place in the history of both nations' over the past 25 years.

Lynn was appointed to the Board of the Kokoda Track Memorial Walkway at Concord. He was elected President of the NSW Parliamentary Lions Club and was a Trustee on the Anzac Memorial building in Sydney.[citation needed] He was Chairman of the Campbelltown Chamber of Commerce and Industry between 1993 and 1994.

Political career[edit]

Lynn had been the Liberal candidate for the Werriwa by-election of January 1994 in which his Labor opponent was future Opposition Leader Mark Latham. Werriwa is a safe Labor seat and Latham was elected although Lynn succeeded in achieving a swing for the Liberal Party.

Lynn came close to being elected to Federal Parliament when he was preselected as the Liberal candidate for the marginal Labor seat of Macarthur. However former NSW Liberal Premier John Fahey was identified as an alternate candidate to Lynn. But Lynn refused to step aside for Fahey. A deal was brokered to accommodate both Fahey and Lynn when former State Liberal Minister Ted Pickering retired from State Parliament. Lynn filled Pickering's Legislative Council seat in return for giving up the Macarthur preselection for Fahey. Lynn accepted the deal and was appointed to the aforementioned casual vacancy in the New South Wales Legislative Council on 19 October 1995 following the resignation of Pickering on 10 October. Fahey went on to win Macarthur at the 1996 federal election.

As a Member for the Legislative Council, Lynn first stood for election in his own right in the 1999 New South Wales election. He was placed fourth on the joint Liberal/Nationals election ticket and was re-elected after receiving the ninth highest quota of votes.[3]

In 2003, Lynn under parliamentary privilege made an allegation that a senior minister, who he did not name, in the Carr Labor Government sexually assaulted a 15-year-old boy. The allegation was immediately dismissed by Premier Bob Carr and the unnamed minister was cleared of this accusation.[4]

Lynn stood for re-election in 2007 New South Wales election. He was placed first on the joint Liberal/Nationals election ticket.[5] He was re-elected after receiving the second highest quota of votes.[6] On 28 July 2012 Lynn threatened he would be leaving the Liberal Party to sit in the Legislative Council as an independent over concerns about the selection of candidates for upcoming local council elections in NSW being endorsed by the Liberal Party.[7] The party chose not to endorse their members in that local council area, as has been practice in the past in some areas.[8] During 2014 Lynn announced that he would not contest the 2015 state election.[9]

During his term in Parliament, Lynn has served as a member of the Joint Select Committee into the Transportation and Storage of Nuclear Waste, General Purposes Standing Committees, Select Committee on the Continued Public Ownership of Snowy Hydro Limited, Committee on the Office of the Ombudsman and the Police Integrity Commission, Standing Committee on Social Issues and Committee on the Office of the Valuer-General.[10]

He has also served as the Vice-President of Camden Branch (1994–95) and President Macarthur FEC (1998-00) for the Liberal Party.[10]

His community activism has included Chairman of the Campbelltown Chamber of Commerce and Industry (1993–94), Founding Chairman of the Kokoda Track Foundation, Trustee of the ANZAC Memorial, Sydney, Director of the Kokoda Track Memorial Walkway, Concord, NSW, Founding Chairman of Network Kokoda, Patron of the Vietnam Veterans Reconstitution Group, Patron of Communities for Communities, NSW, and Corrective and Emergency Services Committee (1995).[10]


He was nominated for an Ernie Award for saying "I'm not happy about someone else having my credit card details, it's bad enough that my wife has them.".[11]

Personal life[edit]

A keen fun-runner, Lynn was placed second in the Bathurst Centenary 100-kilometre (62 mi) ultramarathon in 1986, with a time of 8 hours 26 minutes, and held the NSW 24-Hour ultramarathon record with a distance of 213 kilometres (132 mi). He completed the first Triple M Ironman Triathlon in a time of 13 hours and 12 minutes.[12]


  1. ^ "Bio – Charlie Lynn". Retrieved 13 October 2008.[self-published source?]
  2. ^ "The Hon. Charlie John Stuart LYNN, psc MLC – NSW Parliament". Parliament of New South Wales. Archived from the original on 4 June 2011. Retrieved 9 October 2008.
  3. ^ "ELECTION OF 27 MARCH 1999". Retrieved 13 October 2008.
  4. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 3 September 2014. Retrieved 2014-09-02.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  5. ^ "PARTY GROUP ENDORSEMENT AND RESULT" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 23 July 2008. Retrieved 13 October 2008.
  6. ^ "CANDIDATES IN SEQUENCE OF ELECTION" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 23 July 2008. Retrieved 13 October 2008.
  7. ^ "Liberal Mp to leave party". AAP. Retrieved 29 January 2012.
  8. ^ "Fairfield independent hopefuls wheel out promises for council election". Retrieved 9 June 2012.
  9. ^ Bertola, Vera (6 February 2015). "Camden Upper House politician Charlie Lynn still has contribution to make". Macarthur Chronicle Campbelltown. Retrieved 29 March 2015.
  10. ^ a b c "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 11 September 2009. Retrieved 2008-09-17.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  11. ^ "Ernie Awards for Sexist Behaviour". The World Today. Australia: ABC Radio. Retrieved 13 October 2008.
  12. ^ "The Hon. Charlie John Stuart LYNN, psc MLC – NSW Parliament". Archived from the original on 11 September 2009. Retrieved 17 September 2008.