• Entry type: Person
  • Entry ID: AWE5834

Kelleher, Leonie

  • Occupation Barrister, Lawyer


In over thirty years of practice, Ms Kelleher has made legal history through her involvement with test cases in the High Court, Federal Courts, Supreme Courts and one of the last Privy Council cases. She has extensive experience as an environment, planning and local government law specialist.

Ms Kelleher enjoys an international reputation for her work in property restitution in the reunification of East and West Germany and is proficient in the German language. Admitted to practice as a barrister and solicitor in 1975 and qualified as a town planner, Ms Kelleher worked in one of Melbourne’s leading law firms before commencing her own practice. In 1981 she joined the first group of accredited specialists in environment, planning and local government law with the Law Institute of Victoria. In 1988 Ms Kelleher won a Bicentennial Women 88 Award.

In 1990, Ms Kelleher became one of the very few young women ever to be awarded an Order of Australia. In 2013, she completed a PhD examining the impact of regulatory change upon entrepreneurial opportunity, with particular focus on the Native Title Act 1993 and Aboriginal entrepreneurship.

In recognition of her expertise, Ms Kelleher has served on the Council of the Law Institute of Victoria, Heritage Council, Trust for Nature and the Land Valuation Boards of Review. She was also a member of professional associations including the Law Institute of Victoria, Royal Australian Planning Institute, Victorian Environmental and Planning Law Association and the Environmental Institute of Australia as well as being an Accredited Mediator. She is an Honorary Life Member of The Sovereign Hill Museums Association, President of LAMP (Lawyers for the Arabunna Marree People) and Board Member of Sentir, a Jesuit Academic body.

Ms Kelleher balances her successful career with her family responsibilities and takes enormous pride and pleasure in her four children.

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