Ross Elliot


Dr Ross Elliott is a founding member of The Gutsy Group, Inc. and has been on its Committee of Management since 1999.

Ross was the senior Gastroenterologist at the IBD clinic at St Vincent’s hospital until he retired in 2009, then retiring from private practice in Feb 2014.

After obtaining his fellowship in General Medicine, Ross undertook further studies in the UK as the Sir Halley – Stewart Research Fellow at St Marks Hospital, London into IBD. Previous board appointments include the Mercy Private Hospital, Melbourne, the Gastroenterological Society of Australias Endoscopy Committee and the National Day Surgery Committee.

Clare Cummins

MBA, B. Comm, FFSIA, Grad. Dip in Applied Finance & Investment, Dip. Financial Services (Financial Planning)

Ms Clare Cummins joined the Committee of Management in 2008. Her professional career has spanned the financial services and retail industries, including roles in relationship management in Westpac’s Institutional Bank, leading ANZs Group Audit function for its International, Institutional and Business Banking divisions and the Credit Risk Review process across the Bank. Ms Cummins has also worked in change management and business development roles for the Coles Myer Group, Omega Performance and is presently working within the NAB Group.

Other responsibilities include being on the University of Melbourne’s Alumni Council and formerly on its Committee of Convocation. Ms Cummins was a founding director of the Moving Galleries initiative and has worked and studied overseas.

Dr Emily Wright

Dr Emily Wright joined the Committee of Management and the Scientific Advisory Committee in 2017. She graduated from Monash University with first-class honours in 2006 and was admitted as a Fellow to the Royal Australian College of Physicians in 2013.

After finishing gastroenterology training in Melbourne, Emily was awarded an NHMRC post-graduate scholarship and completed a PhD through the University of Melbourne examining the clinical and microbiological features of post-operative Crohn’s disease. She was awarded the prestigious Dean’s Award for Excellence in a PhD thesis in 2017. Emily underwent further training at The Foothills Medical Centre in Calgary, Canada learning intestinal ultrasound, and has now developed this service at St Vincent’s Hospital Melbourne for use in the assessment of patients with inflammatory bowel disease.

Emily now works as part of the inflammatory bowel disease unit at St Vincent’s Hospital while also working in Private Practice at East Melbourne Gastroenterology and Mornington Endoscopy. Emily continues to be actively involved in medical research with interests including the clinical management of inflammatory bowel disease, the gastrointestinal microbiome, novel microbial therapies and intestinal ultrasound.

Barry Cheetham

Barry joined the committee in 2011 and is currently Chairperson of the fundraising committee. He brings many years of business expertise in marketing and management. He owns a company that imports, wholesales and retails ladies footwear in Australia and New Zealand.

Gayle Sharp

Gayle joined the Gutsy Group Committee of Management as Treasurer in 2017. With a career spanning over 25 years in the finance industry, Gayle has extensive experience in trust management, corporate governance, risk management, compliance and business change management. Gayle has a Bachelor of Business (Finance and Accounting). After attending fundraising events for several years, Gayle was thrilled to be invited to join the Group and is enjoying the opportunity to help raise funds for much needed IBD Research.

In her spare time, Gayle loves doing odd jobs, (she considers herself a bit of a handywoman), catching up with family and friends and spending time with her beloved pooch Molly.

David Cohen

David joined the Gutsy Group Committee of Management in 2019. David is the Owner and Managing Director of the Matchbox Group, which he has run along with his brother for over 20 years. Matchbox is a national retail chain specialising in the sale of home and kitchen products and accessories. David has a Bachelor of Engineering (Civil) and prior to Matchbox, he worked as a Project Manager for Leighton Contractors and Transfield working on various large construction projects throughout Australia.

After being diagnosed with Crohn’s disease in 1998 and living with it ever since, David was excited to join the Gutsy Group and help build recognition for such a great cause.

Chris Cunningham

Chris joined the Gutsy Group Committee of Management in 2020. Chris is a Chartered Accountant commencing his career with Deloitte. Over the last fifteen years, Chris has held senior roles within private family offices that have owned and operated a diverse portfolio of businesses and investments across multiple asset classes.

Chris enjoys sport, and with three young children, he spends most of his time cheering from the sidelines.

Alessandra Negline

Alessandra joined The Gutsy Group during her Bachelor of Arts studies at The University of Melbourne. Whilst still early in her career, Alessandra has experience both overseas and in Australia in project management, marketing & content creation, stakeholder engagement, and operations. She has a deep interest in emerging technologies and has worked in blockchain, health-tech, and AI start-ups. From a young age, she learnt that ‘health is wealth’ and has taken to learn about functional medicine, exercise science, and psychology. She desires to join The Gutsy Group to apply her skillsets in ways that engage with her interests and passion for giving back to the wider community. 

As Secretary, she aspires to use her position within The Gutsy Group to increase the awareness, understanding, and desire from young people to support research finding a cure for IBD-related ailments. She wishes to take upon any and every opportunity to engage younger generations to learn about diseases like Crohn’s and Colitis; seeing it as essential towards supporting youths who may feel like their peers may not understand how it affects their lives.

Alessandra enjoys reading history, playing golf, arts & crafts, and going on walks with her dog.