Leanne works in media-based peacebuilding and communications for social change. She holds a BA in Child Development, a BS in Spanish, and two Masters Degrees in Peace & Conflict Studies. She is currently pursuing an MPhil in Education, with a focus on creative arts as social justice education.
Using documentary arts, oral history, and creative nonfiction- Leanne works with local and international groups to share healing and reconciliatory narratives. Her work has taken her to Costa Rica, Mexico and Colombia and highlights the effects of transnational corporations and policies on violence, scarcity and immigration in Latin America. Her work in Fiji had her embedded in a remote island settlement where she witnessed the impacts of Western commercialism on food scarcity and security in traditionally fishing and subsistence farming communities. IN Australia, she has worked with a number of small non-profit organisations to produce videos highlighting topics such as Aboriginal youth in the justice system, suicide prevention, and an inclusive choir that elevates people with complex needs. Her upcoming assignment will have her training local dialogue facilitators in the Autonomous Region of Bougainville in participatory video techniques. She will also be producing a documentary film about the ongoing dialogue work in Bougainville as they move into a transition period around their independence referendum.
Leanne is particularly grateful for a 2009 internship with Student Action with Farmworkers that had her working with migrant farmworking families in Southeastern United States. Through this experience she developed a better understanding of the intersections between food access, migration and conflict. It was this experience that led her to change career paths
Another experience that impacted her direction was a week-long full-immersion conflict simulation, staged through a collective of universities’ Peace & Conflict Masters Degree programs. In this, participants were required to design and build a humanitarian space in an active conflict zone, manage wounded and cholera-stricken refugees, and negotiate with government agents, military officials, prison wardens and leaders of an opposition militia group. In this, Leanne realized a passion for emergency management, and a focus on stabilization and safety of women and children in fragile zones.
The mother of two adolescent boys, Leanne can often be found climbing things, riding bicycles and all-around adventuring. In her “spare” time, she writes and is in the process of editing a memoir.