Sport Inclusion Australia appoints Danielle Smith to the Board

Sport Inclusion Australia congratulates and welcomes Danielle Smith GAICD as the newest addition to the Board.

Danielle is the CEO of Sunshine Coast Lightning participating in the world’s best netball league, Suncorp Super Netball.

Her career spans more than 25 years working across a broad range of industries including sport, major events, management consulting, consumer products and chartered accounting.

Ms Helen Croxford, Chair of Sport Inclusion Australia said the appointment of Danielle Smith to the SIA Board is testament to the values of the organisation that strives to grow, develop and not accept barriers to making sport inclusive of all.

On behalf of the Board, I would like to welcome Danielle, and say how much her appointment will see Sport Inclusion Australia into its future path – a path to inclusion and changing perceptions of people with disabilities, in particular, people with intellectual impairments.” Ms Croxford said.

Commencing her career with big four advisory firm KPMG, Danielle’s career has included senior roles with NRL club Melbourne Storm, Melbourne 2006 Commonwealth Games, AFL club Geelong Cats and global whitegoods giant, Whirlpool.

Danielle has been with the Melbourne Storm group for 11 years in a variety of roles including Chief Operating Officer, Chief Financial Officer, Board Director, Company Secretary and now CEO of Sunshine Coast Lightning.  In 2022, Danielle was awarded Life Membership for her outstanding values and contribution to the Melbourne Storm Group.

I am excited to join the board of Sport Inclusion Australia and being part of growing more inclusive outcomes for people with an intellectual disability through sport.” said Danielle.

Ms Robyn Smith, CEO said SIA is pleased to have Danielle Smith join the leadership. “ We are delighted to welcome Danielle Smith to the Sport Inclusion Australia team.  Her level of experience and passion for equity in sport will add enormously to our movement.”

Danielle relocated to Queensland 6 years ago to take on Sunshine Coast Lightning’s inaugural CEO role experiencing immediate success including winning back-to-back premierships in the club’s first two seasons of 2017 and 2018, making it the most successful professional sporting club start-up in Australian history.


Danielle is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors program (GAICD), a chartered accountant (CA) with CAANZ, and holds a Bachelor of Commerce (BCom) and Bachelor of Arts (BA) from Monash University.