Work hard, win big.
Meet Suncorp’s insurance graduate and women’s world pinball champion


Suncorp Group prides itself on empowering its people to bring their whole selves to work – celebrating what makes them, them. In this series, we meet some of the Group's inspiring people – highlighting their unique hobbies and pursuits outside of work, and how Suncorp supports a meaningful work/life balance. Welcome to the Sun Chasers series.


Work hard, win big.  Meet Suncorp’s insurance graduate and women’s world pinball champion

Meet Danielle: Suncorp New Zealand Insurance graduate and women’s pinball world champion. 

In most people’s world, these two things would never, could never, collide. But for Danielle, it’s the perfect balance of work and play. 

“In 2017, I won the first ever Texas Pinball Festival women’s tournament, and the It Never Drains in Southern California women’s tournament in 2018. I’m the two-time Australasian Women’s Champion (2019 and 2022), and I’m ranked seventh in the open standings,” said Danielle.

“So I knew my invite to the IFPA Women’s World Champs was coming."

Fast forward just a few weeks and Danielle's mantle is one trophy heavier, and her list of achievements another row longer. She can now proudly call herself the world women's pinball champion. 

A recent Insurance graduate from Suncorp’s Graduate Program, Danielle has used her project management skills to expertly manage her work schedule while honing her pinball talent both at home in New Zealand and overseas. 

“I came through the Suncorp Graduate Program, which meant I have already been able to experience many different departments within the business, switching departments every six months as part of the program schedule,” she said.

“I studied a Bachelor of Arts (BA) in psychology and statistics, followed by a BA(Hons) in psychology, so experiencing a broad range of roles within the business has always been my goal, allowing me to better understand my own strengths and where they fit best, both within the organisation and in my personal pursuits.”

How does a world pinball champion juggle the spotlight on and international level, as well as a burgeoning role in insurance at Suncorp?

It’s all in the support. Danielle credited her sense of freedom and professional fulfilment to the working environment at Suncorp, similar to the way her family has supported her.

“I’d been to three IFPA world championships and two Women’s World Championships in the past, but I was very anxious in the lead up to this tournament," she said. 

"I’ve competed overseas before, but it had been four years since I’d been on the international stage. It was nerve-wracking to be back!

“Whilst I knew many of the competitors from my history of playing competitive pinball, it was awesome to have my whānau, my family, in my corner. 

"My dad was making sure I was fed and watered, cheering me on. So much so that he now has been labelled my ‘cheer dad’.” 

She acknowledged her father as having the greatest impact on her early pinballing career, introducing her to the sport and taking her to tournaments in her youth. 

“He is by far my biggest influence,” Danielle said. “He was the person who first taught me about rulesets in pinball and started taking me along to competitions when I was 10. 

"He made a real effort to invite me along [to tournaments] in the early days, when it was quite intimidating to be the only kid in a room full of adults. My dad’s always been there for me when I need that boost or need to get my head back in the game or to shift my thought process. 

“Very similarly, my colleagues at Suncorp have always been incredibly supportive of my pinball pursuits, genuinely showing an interest in me as a person – not just the value I bring to the workplace. It’s incredibly satisfying to work alongside people who share my professional passions, and who also support my pursuits outside of the workplace.

Suncorp promotes such a positive work/life balance, I rarely have any worries about juggling all of my responsibilities before big tournaments.

"My teams have always been extremely kind in supporting me to take leave for the various international tournaments I attend. Because of this, sacrificing time for one pursuit over another is something that thankfully I don’t have to worry about.

Danielle credited, in part, her ability to chase her personal pursuits to the supportive professional network at Suncorp. 

“I’m really grateful for the graduate program for giving me a platform to succeed both in accelerating my career, but also allowing me to develop myself outside of work," she said. 

"What attracted me to Suncorp as a business was a sense that they genuinely care about their people, both employees and customers. 

"Before this job, I’ve never had people legitimately care about what I do outside of a work, so it’s been extremely transformative to be able to bring my whole self to work and be valued and accepted for it.” 

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