The Hon. Charlie Lynn was a Vietnam veteran at 21. Charlie Lynn was conscripted into the army for National Service in 1965. The following year he volunteered for active service in Vietnam and transferred to the regular army. During his tour of duty he was selected for Officer training and graduated as a 2nd Lieutenant in 1968. He went on to serve with the ANZUK Force in Singapore in 1971-73 and as an exchange instructor in airborne logistics with the United States Army in 1977-78.
During his time with the US Army he completed the Special Forces Military Freefall course which involved high altitude, low opening (HALO) tactical parachute jumps from 7,000 metres at night. He went on to complete 200 parachute jumps and was appointed Captain of the Fort Lee Parachute Display Team.
In 1981 he was selected for the Army Command and Staff College at Fort Queenscliff. After graduation he was assigned to the 1st Brigade at Holsworthy as the senior staff officer for Personnel and Logistics. He resigned with the rank of major in 1986 after 21 years service.
After leaving the army Charlie organised a number of special events which included:
- The annual Westfield Sydney to Melbourne Ultramarathon which Cliff Young made famous;
- An 18,000km Army Relay Marathon around Australia in support of the Australian Cancer Foundation;
- A 4,000km relay between Darwin, Cairns and Melbourne in support of Melbourne's bid for the 1996 Olympic Games; and
- The first Great Australian Caravan Safari around Australia.
- He later conducted leadership and outback survival training with The Australian Rural Leadership Foundation and
- Adventure West in the Kimberley region of WA, central Queensland and outback New South Wales.
In 1991 he was asked to trek across the Kokoda Track in Papua New Guinea with a view to organising an event to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the campaign. He later developed the Kokoda Adventure Leadership Program for young executives from CRA (now Rio Tinto) and the University of Western Sydney National Leadership Scholarship Program. He has led groups from the Sydney Swans AFL team, Youth Insearch, Camp Dare, the NSW Young Liberals and Father Chris Riley's Youth Off The Streets programs as part of their personal development programs.
More recently he has established The Kokoda Track Foundation to develop a strategic plan for the Kokoda Trail to be proclaimed as a National Memorial Park and to provide health, educational and sporting assistance to the descendents of the 'fuzzy-wuzzy angels' who live along the track. He has also been elected to the Board of the Kokoda Track Memorial Walkway at Concord and is a Trustee of the Anzac Memorial Building in Sydney.
He was recently elected as President of the NSW Parliamentary Lions Club.
Charlie is a keen sportsman and represented the army in Australian Rules Football, tennis, squash and marathon running. In 1987 he held the NSW ultramarathon record with a distance of 213 kilometres in 24 hours.
Charlie was elected to the Legislative Council in the Parliament of New South Wales in 1995. He represents the Liberal Party and has served as the Shadow Minister for Public Works and Services and Shadow Minister for Western Sydney. He was re-elected in 1999 and is currently the Parliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Opposition.