Lake Illawarra High School

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Charles McHardie

Attended from 1980 to 1985

Charles McHardie


  • Charles McHardie joined the Royal Australian Naval College in 1985 after attending Lake Illawarra High School. Graduating from the Naval College in 1987 he undertook initial training in HMA Ships PARAMMATTA and STALWART before being awarded his Bridge Watchkeeping Certificate aboard HMAS TOBRUK and HOBART, undertaking deployments to Europe and South East Asia as an Officer of the Watch.


  • One year as an instructor at the Royal Australian Naval Collegewas followed by a two year exchange posting to the United States Naval Academy instructing navigation and seamanship to US midshipmen. While in the US he graduated from the US Naval War College Command and Staff Course with Distinction.


  • As a Lieutenant, McHardie completed the RAN Principal Warfare Officers Course and subsequently graduated as a Surface Warfare Officer and later as a Communications and Information Systems Specialist. Warfare Officer postings as the Communications Officer in the Frigate HMAS SYDNEY and the Destroyer HMAS PERTH were followed by two years as the Fleet Communications Officer at Maritime Headquarters Australia.


  • As Executive Officer of HMAS SYDNEY, McHardie was deployed twice to the Middle East in support of Operations ENDURING FREEDOM and IRAQI FREEDOM. His time as Executive Officer was followed by two years at Maritime Headquarters as Commander Plans, responsible for the Fleet's operations and exercise planning.


  • As Commanding Officer of the Amphibious Assault Ship, HMAS MANOORA in 2006 and 2007 he completed deployments to East Timor (in support of Operation ASTUTE), the South Pacific and South East Asia. He commenced his posting as Director General Naval Communications and Intelligence in late 2007 followed by a year of studies at the College of Defence and Strategic Studies in 2011. In 2012 he commenced duties as the Director Joint Amphibious Capability Implementation Team at Campbell Park in Canberra.


  • He will be promoted to Commodore this month and take command of coalition naval forces in the Middle East as Commander Task Force 150, a multi-national task force based in Bahrain that conducts maritime security operations in the Gulf of Aden, Gulf of Oman, Arabian Sea, Red Sea and the Indian Ocean.


  • Captain McHardie was appointed by the Governor General as a Member of the Order of Australia in 2011 for services to Naval Warfare. He holds a Master of Science from the University of New South Wales, a Master of Systems Engineering from the University of New South Wales and a Master of Arts from Deakin University. He is married to Terrie, also a graduate of Lake Illawarra High School and they have two daughters.