Melia Benn

2023 Outstanding Indigenous Alumni Award

Melia Benn

Melia Benn is a Mamu and Gunggandji woman, and one of only two practising Indigenous women barristers at the Queensland Bar. Her work across several areas of law, as well as her passionate advocacy for Indigenous Australians to have greater representation in the legal field, has earned her the 2023 JCU Outstanding Indigenous Alumni Award.

Melia has worked in multiple areas of law, beginning with her role as a property lawyer in private practice. Soon after, Melia transitioned to the Queensland Government, where she was a senior lawyer for the Office of the Director of Prosecutions (QLD), appearing in the District and Supreme Courts. Prior to being called to the Bar, Melia was the Counsel Assisting the Norther Coroner.

Melia was called to the Bar in 2018, and has chambers in both Endeavour Chambers, Cairns and Griffith Chambers, Brisbane. At the Bar, Melia has a broad practice in class action proceedings, coronial inquests, and discrimination and human rights matters. Melia is currently briefed in the Western Australia and Northern Territory class actions for ‘Stolen Wages’ which are class actions seeking compensation for Aboriginal stockman and house domestic who worked for little or no money.

In 2023, Melia was appointed a seasonal tribunal member of the Mental Health Review Tribunal.

In recognition of her work, Melia received the Australian Lawyers Alliance’s Queensland Civil Justice Award in 2021, an award for those who have displayed an outstanding commitment to the pursuit of justice.