Ambassadors

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The Gutsy Group is privileged to have the support of a number of passionate individuals who are committed to The Gutsy Group, Inc. cause and firmly believe in the importance of raising public awareness of Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.

By being active in the community, our ambassadors promote a greater understanding and acceptance of the disease, raise the profile of our charity and thereby highlight the vital need for continued medical research to find a cure.

We are grateful for the tremendous efforts of these successful individuals who willingly dedicate their time to support The Gutsy Group, Inc.

Tom Elliott

Tom ElliottTom is the host of radio station 3AW’s Drive Program (Weekdays, 3-6pm). He is also a Director of Melbourne-based wealth management firm Beulah Capital. Tom writes a weekly opinion column for Melbourne’s Herald Sun newspaper and appears regularly on both Channel Nine’s Today Show and ABC TVs Agony Uncles series.

Tom holds both a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Melbourne and a Bachelor of Arts (Philosophy, Politics and Economics) from Oxford University (UK). He is married to Elise, with whom he has a daughter, Ava.

Daryl Braithwaite

Daryl BraithwaiteThe legendary Daryl Braithwaite has much to celebrate in his unparalleled career. He and his incredible live band have been selling out pubs and clubs in every corner of the country for decades. Several of the members of Daryl’s band have been with him since the EDGE (1988) and RISE (1990) days. The last member joined 14 years ago, which means the current line-up has been together as long as Sherbet were together.

Daryl’s multi-platinum albums EDGE and RISE were followed by a brilliant new mini-album, FOREVER THE TOURIST (2014) when Daryl was also re-signed by Sony Music Australia. And the centrepiece of this new chapter in his career is the anthemic single ‘Not Too Late’. In light of the renewal of his partnership with Sony, there could hardly have been a more apt title. It’s a story of hope, aspirations and most definitely reflections of life, and the obvious choice to have a go or not.FOREVER THE TOURIST is in one way a personal gift from Daryl to his most loyal fans, a thank you for their unrelenting support across the decades. But everyone involved is also confident these new emotion-filled, state-of-the-art songs will also introduce a whole new generation of music lovers to one of the most famous and beloved voices in the history of Australian music. Alongside “Not Too Late”, the other seven songs on the album sound like pages torn straight out of Daryl’s world intimate, joyous celebrations from a man who is loving life. Such as “Beautiful Feeling”, which encapsulates the thrill Daryl feels every time he steps up on stage. Or the reggae groove of “Perfect Day”, filled with sand, surf and

FOREVER THE TOURIST is in one way a personal gift from Daryl to his most loyal fans, a thank you for their unrelenting support across the decades. But everyone involved is confident these new emotion-filled, state-of-the-art songs will introduce a whole new generation of music lovers to one of the most famous and beloved voices in the history of Australian music. Alongside ‘Not Too Late’, the other seven songs on the album sound like pages torn straight out of Daryl’s world. They’re intimate and joyous celebrations from a man who is loving life, such as ‘Beautiful Feeling’, which encapsulates the thrill Daryl feels every time he steps on stage. Or the reggae groove of ‘Perfect Day’, filled with sand, surf and sun. Or the title track ‘Forever The Tourist’, a huge open-hearted acclamation to where his life travels have carried him so far.Throughout this mini-album, the mood is definitely up and vibrant. In recent years, Daryl has been collaborating with two talented songwriters Melbourne-based Oliver Jones (brother of Savage Garden’s Daniel Jones) and Sydney-based Lindsay Rimes.

Throughout this mini-album the mood is most definitely up and vibrant. In recent years Daryl has been collaborating with two talented songwriters, Melbourne-based Oliver Jones (brother of Savage Garden’s Daniel Jones) and Sydney-based Lindsay Rimes.

Brent Lehmann

Brett LehmannAustralian Rules football is a male-dominated environment where strength, courage and determination are all core values that typically represent those who participate. It was very challenging to be actively involved only to regularly miss training sessions, compete at less than 100%, and question why the intensity couldn’t be increased.

But these were the first true signs that something wasn’t right. Tiredness and lethargy, chronic stomach pain, unexpected weight loss, and regular visits to the nearest facilities began to take over. A simple night with friends consuming small amounts of alcohol generated constant nausea, and there were no immediate signs of why this was the case.

With no visible signs of poor health, like a plaster cast for a broken limb, it was difficult for those close to me to understand exactly what was happening. Worse still, I had no idea what was happening.

This continued for nearly 12 months until a forced hospital visit provided the answer. With deteriorating health, a weight that was continually falling, and no sign of an immediate solution, a local GP suggested an immediate trip to the emergency room. I was admitted immediatelyand spent the next week undergoing numerous tests to determine the outcome. Then the answer came – you have ulcerative colitis.

I had never heard of this before and immediately wondered what this meant. Would I live a normal life? Would medication make it go away? And what about playing football? All important questions for a 20-year-old.

This was more than 15 years ago. Since then I was forced to retire from playing football, I’ve learned to understand the disease is always with you and is incurable. However, this hasn’t affected my quality of life, and it hasn’t affected my ability to fulfil my ambitions in life. Sure, there has been the constant vigilance that is required from regular colonoscopies, a necessary career change to avoid travelling to third world countries, and the inability to enjoy a couple of bottles of wine with friends. There is also the continuous questioning of dietary requirements, restaurant selections, menus etc. I have a tremendous family who provide great support at all times. I will never underestimate the importance of a wonderful, close support network of family and friends who learn to understand the various ups and downs of living with colitis.

Throughout my colitis journey, for what is approaching half of my life, I’ve become passionate about making sure others never lose sight of the fact that they can live a normal life. Sacrifices are made along the way, but everyone has to make them at some point in their lives. With so many great medical practitioners who are committed to the cause, there is absolutely no reason why anyone living with Colitis (or Crohn’s) cannot fulfil all of the ambitions they have in their lives.

It’s my passion to help others, talk with them and let them know that opening up your private life, whilst very tough initially, can be enormously rewarding and beneficial. This drove me to become an active ambassador for The Gutsy Group, Inc.

Scott Thornton

Scott ThorntonI was born in Springvale in Melbourne’s south-eastern suburbs and started my football career in the local junior competition when I was quite young. As I was tall and sporty as a youngster, I developed a good aptitude for football and was invited to join the Sandringham Dragons TAC Cup team. While playing in this competition, I earned a position in the Victorian Metro Teal Cup team in 2000. This is a field which has produced many AFL players.

As a result of my success in this competition, I was chosen by the Fremantle Dockers Football Club as its number 66 selection after I nominated for the AFL national draft in 2000. I made my AFL debut in the 2002 season.

In June 2003, some problems arose with my health. I began enduring significant symptoms including intestinal abscess, lethargy and blood loss, especially following lengthy periods of exercise such as training sessions. The cause of these symptoms was unidentified at the time.

With no immediate diagnosis, my health continued to deteriorate. In January 2004 I lost around 10kg in weight. During pre-season most AFL players are expected to gain kilos through weight training sessions, so this sudden loss was especially unexpected.

A diagnosis of Crohn’s disease was finally made in June 2004. Once correct treatment and medication to stabilise and monitor the condition began, I returned to my position in the team. However, it was not until halfway through the season that I made an excellent recovery and played every game in 2005, and placed 4th in the best and fairest competition for that year.

Like all sufferers of Crohn’s and colitis, there are many highs and lows to cope with during various stages. But understanding the management of the condition, and my commitment to maintaining my fitness resulted in a relatively stable period of health from 2006-2008.

Equal commitment on the part of the Fremantle Dockers Football Club to lend its support to me led a 2-year contract extension. I remained contracted until the end of the 2010 season, at which time I achieved a 10-year career with the Fremantle Dockers.

I chose to become an Ambassador of The Gutsy Group, Inc. as I wish to use my public profile as an AFL footballer to raise awareness of Crohn’s disease. I want to demonstrate to the many people who suffer from inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) that with the right approach and plenty of dedication you can still achieve your goals.

I also want to share the positive results openly by speaking about my experiences, with the issue of mental health being crucial, and so I resolved to make myself available to contribute in any way possible around my football obligations.

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