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Leanne has held academic positions in social work at the University of Western Sydney and the Australian Catholic University. She has also held a number of senior positions including: Principal Researcher, Victorian Parliament Social Development Committee Inquiry into Mental Disturbance and Community Safety; Secretary, Joint Parliamentary Committee on the National Crime Authority, Australian Senate; and Senior Criminologist, Australian Institute of Criminology.
Leanne’s reputation in conducting inclusive consultations and in providing sound research and project management to complex national initiatives is evident by her having been awarded a number of significant consultancies. In 2011, Leanne received the Exception Contribution to Mental Health Services in Australia Award at the THEMHS Conference.
Leanne’s PhD thesis, the Care and Control of Mentally Ill Offenders in NSW, provided a blue print for legislation and service reform for mentally ill offenders. A significant change that has now been made was the removal of executive discretion in disposition and release decisions. Leanne’s research in this area contributed to the establishment of the NSW Mental Health Advocacy Service and has aided the critique of policies and practices underpinning assessments of dangerousness.