Always a privilege to speak at the Karrakatta Club, Australia's oldest women's club established in 1894. Members championed local social justice issues affecting women and children. Women in West Australia were granted the vote In 1899, due in part, to the powerful lobbying of founding members, including Edith Cowan. 

Please join me on this special occasion. The doors will be open to Non members for those wanting to attend.



When Henrietta Dugdale gathers her three young sons to her in the spring of 1867 and runs away from her bigamist husband, she puts into motion events that will lead to her recognition as a hero and trailblazing suffragette for women’s rights in Australia.

This novel is based on a true story of the author’s ancestor, pieced together from family history, meticulous research and a desire to bring to light a life that was lived with conviction and fortitude. The more injustices she faced as a pioneering (and well-born) Englishwoman in Australia, the more determined Mrs Dugdale became to ‘step up’. She devoted her life to addressing those injustices, especially women’s rights, having lost her young sons to an indifferent and cruel husband who prevented her from having any contact with them in their early years.

Henrietta left a searing account of her passion for women’s rights in a series of letters to newspapers which have been quoted and adapted in this story. This is an important work that documents the world of dependent women in Victoria in the late 1800s and sheds light on a crusader whose desire to make a difference transformed the lives of those she lived and worked with.

See Step Up, Mrs Dugdale listed on the reading list for May by Writing WA Click here

WritingWA Book Club Notes: Download the PDF to Read on


There’s nothing quite like having a book launch in your own hometown. The occasion, on Thursday, 11th April, was made all the more celebratory with well-known local author and presenter, Rosemary Sayer, introducing Step Up, Mrs Dugdale to a very appreciative audience of family and friends.  And the Crawley venue, with its magnificent view overlooking Matilda Bay, was such a great fit to showcase my new imprint, Matilda Bay Books.

Step Up, Mrs Dugdale is now available in all formats.



Henrietta Augusta Dugdale - 'a hero for women, a trailblazer for her time'

What better way to mark International Women’s Day than by sharing the blurb of my new book, Step Up, Mrs Dugdale.

“In 1867, Henrietta Augusta Dugdale, dairywoman of Queenscliff, is pushed to breaking point and leaves her fourteen-year marriage. With access to her children denied, she enters the freethinking world of Melbourne bohemia and sets out to change the law that casts women as property, with no legal rights of their own.

A fearless crusader for women’s justice, the indefatigable ‘Mrs D.’ outclasses those who try to silence or belittle her, all the while haunted by the loss of her three sons, the dark undercurrents of the past and the mysterious fate of her first love.

From newfound facts and family memorabilia, Lynne Leonhardt has created a luminous tale of love, loss, triumph and fortitude, set against the evocative coastal landscape of Port Phillip Bay and the wonder-city of Melbourne at the height of the gold-rush boom. Step Up, Mrs Dugdale is an unforgettable portrait of a pioneering suffragist – a hero for women, a trailblazer for her time.”

STEP UP, MRS DUGDALE is coming soon!!



Sip and Savour Historical Flavour

On the 8th November, I will be taking part in a Historical Novel Society of Australiasia panel event in Melbourne, along with fellow featured authors, Glenice Whitting and Alli Sinclair.

The panel, led by Robert Gott, will discuss stories of immigration - of migration to Australia and connections to the old country. Central to memories of the old country is feasting - sharing of food and drink evocative of the old country. In that vein, the panel discussion will be accompanied by beverage pairings - from Australia, Germany and Italy.

Tickets ($25.00) can be purchased from Trybooking:

Ticket price includes wine/beverage sample and cocktail supper.

Venue: Mail Exchange Hotel:
Function Rooms
688 Bourke St, Melbourne.
(corner of Bourke Street and Spencer Street, opposite Southern Cross Station).

Enter via the Bourke Street entrance, down the escalators, through the Bistro. Function rooms face onto Bourke Street.

HNSA Facebook page:
HNSA Melbourne Chapter Facebook page:

Public Lending Rights payment


It’s that time of the year when I receive notification of my yearly Public Lending Right payment. A small royalty rate for every book that is borrowed through libraries across Australia. Though very small, it accumulates. More importantly, it lets me know that my book is still popular.  Thank you, readers!


For those of you who have not read Finding Jasper or would like a copy, it can be purchased at Buy Now

Some years ago my local library was burnt to the ground and had to be relocated. I'm pleased to say that I will be giving a talk there on 2nd July. Look forward to seeing you there.

Read More

Historical Novel Society of Australasia Conference 2015

Looking forward to meeting lots of interesting people at this Sydney conference. It kicks off tonight with a cocktail party at the State Library. There should be some lively discussion at a round table debate with Kelly Gardiner (Chair)Deborah ChallinorJesse BlackadderRachel Le Rossignol and Gillian Polack as they ponder the question: ‘What can historical novelists and historians learn from each other? 


Guest Speaker at the Town of Vincent Library & History Centre


I will be guest speaker at the Town of Vincent Library & History Centre. To hear more about the writing of Finding Jasper please come along and join me.

When: 10:00 AM, Wednesday 28 May to 11:00 AM, Wednesday 28 May 2014

Where: 99 Loftus Street, Leederville, Western Australia, 6007


Guest speaker at Society of Women Writers WA

I will be guest speaker at the Society of Women Writers WA on 18th March 2014. This will follow a General Monthly Meeting which will be held at 12.15 pm. 

Topic: Serendipity: PhD to Publication 

Venue:       Citiplace Community Centre, Perth Railway Station Concourse (above Platform 9)


for more details about SWWWA see





Date: 7 Nov 2013

Time: 7pm-8:30pm (Registration starts at 6:30pm)

Venue: Multi-Purpose Room, B1, National Library Board, Singapore

            100 Victoria Street, Singapore

About the Launch 

Meet West Australian author Lynne Leonhardt at the launch of her novel in Singapore.Finding Jasper (Margret River Press) explores the social, emotional and physical dislocation brought about by war.  Set across Australia, England and Sri Lanka between 1945-65, Finding Jasper is an acute, sensitive search for love and a sense of self in a rapidly changing world.  

The book will be launched by guest speaker Kevin Peter Blackburn, NIE and the author will show a short video and read an excerpt from the book. You will also have the opportunity to direct questions to the author. 

Light Refreshment will be provided.

The event is co-organised by the National Book Development Council of Singapore and Margaret River Press. 

Entrance is free. Click here to register