Leonie is a registered dental therapist who worked in mobile dental vans and established two fixed dental clinics in rural areas of NSW before commencing her teaching career at the Shellharbour School of Dental Therapy in December 1980. She went on to work as an academic and researcher at the University of Wollongong, the University of New England, The University of Sydney and Queensland University of Technology (QUT). At QUT, she helped establish Australia's first dual-skilled degree in Oral Health Therapy in conjunction with the University of Queensland in 1998. In 2001, she enjoyed her brief time as the 56th woman to be elected to the House of Representatives of the 39th Parliament of Australia. Post-parliament, Leonie worked for DRUG ARM Australasia and Teachers' Union Health in management and marketing roles. Leonie was then appointed as the first academic to be appointed to the School of Dentistry and Oral Health at Griffith University on the Gold Coast - Australia's first new dental school for 57 years. Leonie has held numerous board positions in the not-for-profit sector and is currently a member of the Public Records Review Board in Queensland.
Academic Leadership - Leonie has demonstrated academic leadership in assisting to establish the new Bachelor of Oral Health degree at the University of Queensland in partnership with Queensland University of Technology in 1997 and then was the first academic appointed at Griffith University to establish Australia's first new dental school in 57 years.