Leon grew up in Mirboo North and entered VSF in 1965. After graduation he worked in assessment and then completed a degree in Forestry at Melbourne University.
After a period of district work he was recruited to the FCV Research Branch with the idea of specialising in hydrology. He did a doctorate in the groundwater hydrology of the Croppers Creek catchments in 1975-1978. After leaving the FCV in 1981 he worked as a consultant for some years (mainly on mining matters) until he was out of work. Pleasantly for him the University of Melbourne offered him a job as lecturer at the Creswick Campus, which he greatly enjoyed for the next thirty-odd years. He is now mostly retired but has the occasional research or consultancy fling, and is heavily involved in Rotary in Ballarat and a philanthropic group. He wishes he was young and was doing it all again. He has produced an Australian text book on forest hydrology and is co-author of an international reference book on the same subject.