Family, friends and colleagues are mourning the loss of dedicated lawyer and mother-of-three Melissa Nielsen, who died yesterday aged just 39.
Family, friends and colleagues are mourning the loss of dedicated lawyer and mother-of-three Melissa Nielsen, who died yesterday aged just 39.

Outpouring of grief for young lawyer

FAMILY, friends and colleagues are mourning the death of dedicated Cairns lawyer and mother of three Melissa Nielsen at age 39.

Miller Harris Lawyers confirmed the sad news today that the commercial law partner had died yesterday.

It is understood she'd been diagnosed with a brain tumour.

In its tribute to Ms Nielsen, the law firm said she would be remembered for her dedication and her involvement in many charitable causes.

Melissa Nielsen completed her law degree in Townsville after graduating from Babinda High School. PICTURE: JUSTIN BRIERTY
Melissa Nielsen completed her law degree in Townsville after graduating from Babinda High School. PICTURE: JUSTIN BRIERTY

"Melissa will be remembered by her clients for her dedication, commitment and enthusiasm to their cause and to her home region," it said.

"Melissa's spirit, drive, and empathy for all will not be forgotten.

"She has lived her short life fully and deeply, and is an inspiration to us all.

"We will miss her terribly."

"She will be remembered by many more as a maternal health champion - saving lives of mothers in childbirth through her fundraising for Send Hope Not Flowers.

"This says nothing of her willing focus as a pro bono worker for numerous causes and boards, including Advance Cairns Ltd and the Cairns Womens Legal Service."

In celebration of her memory, her colleague Rowan Wilson has set up a fundraiser to establish a scholarship for young female leaders in her name.

"Melissa was a Babinda High School graduate, before she travelled to Townsville to complete her law degree," she said.

"After her diagnosis Melissa expressed her wish to establish a scholarship to be awarded annually to a female student who has completed year 12 at Babinda State School, and demonstrated leadership (not necessarily either public or formal in nature) and support to others in her school community."

The campaign has a goal of $6000 and can be found here.

Ms Nielsen leaves behind her partner Rudy, three children, her parents Robyn and Ken, Melissa's sisters, and her extended family.

Originally published as Outpouring of grief for young Cairns lawyer



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