Charlie was born at Pikilyi (Vaughan Springs) north-west of Mount Leibig around Waite Creek. He received some basic European schooling at the Mission School in Yuendumu and was initiated near Haasts Bluff. He worked as a stockman for seven years on a station at Haasts Bluff and later in Queensland. After marrying his first wife, Nora Nakamarra. He worked on Narwietooma Station for another seven years. Charlie and his wife came to Papunya in the very early days of the settlement when there were only a couple of houses built.

Charlie began painting in the early days of the Papunya Art Movement in the 1970s. He became involved with the growing group of artists that worked out of a shed that was set up with the help of Geoffrey Bardon, the white school teacher who helped establish the art movement in 1971. He worked alongside other artists such as Billy Stockman and Clifford Possum, developing his style, transferring the images in traditional methods of painting in the sand, to the canvas.

Charlie has two sons and two daughters of whom, Natalie Corby has been painting since the early 1980s under her father's tuition. His paintings depict Women’s Dreaming, Sugar Ant Dreaming, Budgerigar Dreaming, Wallaby Dreaming, Bushfire Dreaming and Men’s Dreamings at sites across his country.

Charlie’s work has appeared in many exhibitions in Australia including 1985 National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne; 1989 Westpac Gallery, Melbourne; 1989 South Australian Museum, Adelaide; 1993 Art Gallery of Western Australia, Perth. His painting ‘Wild Bird Dreaming’ was used as a front cover on the book "Wildbird Dreaming.” Collections: National Museum of Australia, Canberra; University of Western Australia, Perth, Art Gallery of Western Australia; Berndt Museum of Anthropology, Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory, Darwin; Araluen Arts Centre, Alice Springs, Artbank; Jinta Desert Art Gallery Sydney, Aboriginal Art Galleries of Australia Melbourne.