From the office to the Army barracks, Suncorp Group is proud to support our brave volunteers



From the office to the Army barracks, Suncorp Group is proud to support our brave volunteers

The life of an Army Reservist is one of dedication and selfless service to one’s country and community when they need them most. When conflict, crises or emergencies happen, at home or overseas, they are amongst the first ones who put up their hand to serve, facing conflict on the battlefield, or the frontline of a natural disaster.

It’s not a decision they make lightly; they have careers they worked hard for, temporarily left behind, and families and loved ones at home, waiting for their safe return.

For many of us, it may look like a heavy burden of a responsibility we are thankful to never have to experience. All of us, however, are grateful to the service men and women who train and prepare during their busy lives, to be ready to serve at a moment’s notice, to protect us and keep us safe.

As an organisation, Suncorp Group is committed to supporting and advocating for our employee reservists, veterans, and emergency volunteers. We admire their physical and mental resilience in times of crisis and thank them for their important service to the community.

In commemoration of ANZAC Day, we are proud to share the story of Suncorp employee Dominic McMullan. 

Mr McMullan works for Vero (part of Suncorp Group) as a Business Development Advisor and proudly serves as a Cavalier in the Victorian Army Reserves.

Meet Dominic McMullan

Mr McMullan loves talking about insurance and working with his team, and does so with skill, energy, and enthusiasm.

“I talk to insurance intermediaries who sell Suncorp Group insurance policies around Australia. I spend a lot of time talking to our brokers, and it is really important to be able to build relationships that are workable, and mutually supportive and effective,” Mr McMullan explained.

It is a role that encourages cooperation, a sense of community and effective communication skills.

“And the funny thing is, those turn out to be very useful skills in the military as well,” he said.

In between work, university lecturing, and family commitments, Mr McMullan serves as a Cavalier in the Victorian Prince of Wales's Light Horse Regiment, a military unit with a long and proud history dating back to the Boer War (1889-1902). He has served for eight years this June.

“On weekends and Tuesday nights I don camouflage gear and occasionally body armour for my work as a Cavalier in the Army Reserves,” he said.

“I’ve learnt how to utilise a range of combat weaponry and devices, and I can drive two kinds of armoured battle trucks. I'm also proficient in hand-to-hand combat and first aid.”

While none of these impressive technical skills may be directly transferred to his day job, the collaboration, communication and flexibility he applies to a career in the insurance sector supports his military life too, especially during times of national crisis.

Mr McMullan’s unit was on the frontline of the devastating 2019/2020 bushfires in Victoria, that burned over many months, at the same time as other bushfires along the eastern seaboard.

He remembers the day he got the call. His wife was pregnant with their first child. As they watched the news in the days prior, he said ‘you know it looks like I might have to go and help soon?’

Sure enough, that call came on 2 January, 2020.

“My unit and I went out to the frontlines of the fires for about a month. I was driving in an armoured vehicle in the Alpine area, up to 16 hours a day, to Mount Buller and back for refuelling,” he said.

“We were supporting the firefighting, moving infantry around, ferrying supplies through dangerous areas, and helping evacuate the communities.

“With our Army engineers’ support we were able to clear trees and debris off inaccessible roads.

"In an armoured vehicle, I could drive through the dangerous conditions of falling trees without getting hurt, so we were able to access frontline areas others couldn’t safely reach.”

One of the vehicles Mr McMullan can drive is a Bushmaster PMV (Protected Mobility Vehicle) - a fifteen-ton armoured transport designed to protect soldiers from weapons and explosive devices. Australian-designed and built, they are known for their reliability and mobility.

Mr McMullan explained that during national emergencies, like the fires, the military’s decisiveness, efficient communication, and ability to ‘move things from one place to another effectively' supported firefighters and other emergency service volunteers.

More than 1.5 million hectares of Country were burnt in the fires, devastating wildlife, homes, cultural sites, businesses and communities. Mr McMullan and his unit helped with the enormous clean up and rebuilding efforts.

After a month away on leave, he returned to work at Vero, and was grateful for the financial and emotional support he received upon his return to the office.

Dominic McMullan, Business Development Advisor, Vero

When I returned to the office in 2020 it was great that people who had seen me as just a “weekend warrior” now had more understanding for the gravity of my Reserve work.

Suncorp Group provides employees paid volunteer leave and unlimited paid emergency response leave for employees who support their communities during national emergencies. They also offer paid military service leave for up to ten days for each year of employment.

“With a new baby on the way, with all the crisis in the world, that just made all the difference,” Mr McMullan said.

Mr McMullan and his team found a lost puppy after an evacuation they supported in the alpine region of Ovens River Valley in January 2020. “It became separated from its owner in all the haste, but thankfully we were able to go back for it during a replenishment run.”

‘Servus’ connects and advocates for Suncorp employee reservists, veterans, and volunteer communities

Suncorp Group Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) are networks created by Suncorp employees that foster a diverse and inclusive workplace and bring employees together around a common purpose, interest or background.

Suncorp ERG ‘Servus’ is dedicated to developing employment pathway opportunities between Suncorp and the veteran community, and advocates for veterans, Reserves, emergency services and their families.

Servus Co-Chair Davor Strbac served in the Australian Army Reserves for eight years and has worked for Suncorp Group for a decade. In 2020, he was awarded Veteran Employee of the Year at the Prime Minister’s Veterans Employment Awards, for his outstanding perseverance and contribution towards veterans and Defence families.

During his tenure as Physical Security Manager at Suncorp Group, he has directly supported veterans in finding roles in post-Defence careers. Army training in leadership, teamwork, discipline, strategic planning, and crisis management transferred to skills well suited for management, corporate security, risk and business continuity roles in the private sector.

Mr Strbac is also passionate about supporting emergency services volunteers, and current Defence families.

Davor Strbac, Physical Security Manager and Servus ERG Co-Chair, Suncorp Group

As a whole, Suncorp Group is a very flexible organisation, which allows our reservists, like Dominic, who are often called upon to support and serve, to do so.

Mr McMullan said the Servus ERG was vital for military people and emergency services volunteers, because the group helped bridge communication between senior leadership and the employees.

“The Servus ERG helps connect us with management so that we can have the flexibility we need to serve the community, and not have to repeatedly explain our responsibilities. It takes the pressure off when leadership understands our significant role in the community, and our teams feel supported,” he said.

“We bring so much to the table. We are mentally resilient. We have a sense of purpose. We are good at flexibility because we have to be.

“Our service is also a job that we do for our country.”

We are pleased to share that Mr Dominic McMullan has been selected to raise and lower the Aboriginal flag at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) during the ANZAC Day Service.

Lest we forget. 

This ANZAC Day, Suncorp Group reflects on the contributions of all Australian and New Zealand service men and women. Thank you for your sacrifice and service.

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