Charlie is the protagonist of the film. An aging Yolngu man living in a remote community of Aboriginal Australians strictly controlled by white police, Charlie is friendly with many people but spends most of his time alone. Charlie reluctantly helps the police track criminals who have fled into the bush. As a boy, Charlie danced for the Queen of England at the opening of the Sydney Opera House, an experience he thinks about often. Charlie is resentful of the restrictions on his freedoms that come with police surveillance of his community. He seeks to live in connection with the land and traditional ways but becomes alienated and rebellious when he is not allowed to do so.
Black Pete is a Yolngu man who is good friends with Charlie. On one of their hunting trips, they are caught by the police and their weapons get confiscated. Black Pete disapproves of Charlie's reckless behavior because it endangers his health and brings him in trouble. Pete saves Charlie's life when he tracks him in the bush when Charlie is starving.
Luke is the white police officer in the Aboriginal community. Although seemingly on good terms with Charlie at the beginning of the film, Luke's racism becomes evident when he assaults and arrests Charlie, hurling racial slurs at him as he does.
Old Lulu is another one of Charlie's friends and members of the Aboriginal community. They have conversations about teaching the young ones how to dance and how the traditional ways are disappearing.
Gaz is a white drug dealer who asks Charlie for help finding a place to hide out from the police in the bush. He is anxious and unfriendly. He charges Charlie fifty dollars for a small bag of cannabis, exploiting Charlie's substance addiction and his lack of access to any other cannabis.
The Woman in Darwin
The woman in Darwin is someone who befriends Charlie after he leaves the hospital. An alcoholic Aboriginal Australian living outdoors, she is banned from drinking and relies on Charlie to buy beer for her. It is suggested that she and Charlie may have sexual or romantic feelings for each other.
The parole officer is a white woman who speaks with Charlie while he is in prison. She informs him that he will not be allowed to associate with other problem drinkers upon his release.
Charlie’s Country Questions and Answers
The Question and Answer section for Charlie’s Country is a great
resource to ask questions, find answers, and discuss the novel.