Melissa Nielsen

2013 College Recipient. College of Business, Law and Governance

Melissa Nielsen is a partner in the commercial and property law department of Miller Harris Lawyers in Cairns advising on contracts, agreements and all facets of business, commercial and property law.

Born and bred in Mirriwinni, just south of Cairns, she joined Miller Harris in 2005 after several years with Brisbane firm, Frews Solicitors. In 2012 she was made a partner – the same year as she gave birth to her second child.

Mrs Nielsen has acted for some of the most significant operators in Far North Queensland, including the Cairns Airport, the Cairns Regional Council and Ports North, but has maintained her commitment to the community.

She has been a member of the management committees of the Far North Queensland Law Association and the Cairns Community Legal Centre and has coordinated regular contributions from the staff of Miller Harris to the Harald’s House charity, Send Hope Not Flowers, Red Cross and participates in Relay for Life. In the past two years Mrs Nielsen has been part of a team at Miller Harris who have hosted a fundraising lunch for the charity “Send Hope Not Flowers”. Each year the fundraising event had more than 300 people in attendance and more than $40,000.00 has been raised in total to reduce the maternal mortality rate in developing countries, in particular, our nearest neighbour, Papua New Guinea.

At Miller Harris, Mrs Nielsen has been a key member of the marketing and tender team, working to attract and retain clients not only to the firm, but also to the Cairns region,as they often compete with firms that are located or based in Brisbane when tendering for work from major institutions.

As the coordinator of the in-house continuing legal education program at the firm she helps junior lawyers and graduates, and provides opportunities for their further education. She also organises the firm’s community education quarterly seminars. She is a mentor and role model not only within the firm, but also the legal industry in the region.

Sadly Melissa passed away in June 2020.