Legacy charity support: Guide Dogs Queensland

“Leave the place better than you found it”

The values that form Sirron Holdings stem from the life philosophy of our founder, John Watts. These values are also held by our divisions of Zexa, Norris and Butler.

John’s life was defined by the goal to “leave the place better than you found it”. This is something we are proud to carry on in his memory, spreading the philosophy wide enough to try and make the world a better place.

Supporting charities that were, for John, local treasures, was his way of creating meaningful change. One of these causes was Guide Dogs Queensland.

John made many contributions as a major donor, both through Sirron and personal donations over more than 8 years. These contributions significantly assisted with the completion of two major projects by Guide Dogs Queensland. The launch of a new Vet Clinic and the refurbishment of the new Breeding Centre were causes John was very passionate about.

A kind man who loved a good cuppa

Senior Philanthropy Manger Michelle Hillman worked closely with John for three years at Guide Dogs Queensland.

“When I first met John, he was a man with a vision. That was to help the charity sector to provide quality of life to those who need assistance and support.” Michelle explained.

“An intelligent businessman, John would ask questions, seek out projects and contribute to services where he saw an ongoing benefit.

“We remember John for his business intelligence and commitment to due diligence. Most of all we remember his kindness and a love of a good cuppa and cake at our local café.

“I feel blessed to have met John. He was a man who, through his contributions and legacy, will continue to make a real difference that will benefit Guide Dogs Queensland well into the future.”


Guide Dogs Queensland Breeding Centre

The refurbishment of the Queensland Breeding Centre was finalised in 2017. The the relaunch of the space in September of that year.

“The Breeding Centre is truly at the heart of our organisation. This is because it’s where every guide dog puppy meets the world.” Michelle explained.

“Every wagging tail and wet nose brings an opportunity for someone with low vision to live a full and active life.”

The journey of every guide dog starts in the Breeding Centre. This is where the pups begin their early development and training from the time they are born.

They live in the nursery until they are about eight weeks old. During this time are exposed to different objects, sounds, lights and textures that they might encounter in the real world.

When the pups are old enough to leave the Breeding Centre, they need loving homes with volunteer puppy raisers.

Last year the Breeding Centre enabled 27 guide dogs to be placed with clients and begin their life-changing journeys.


Guide Dogs Queensland Vet Clinic

“John Watts and Sirron Holdings are listed on the honor board of our new Vet Clinic which opened in March 2020.” Michelle said.

“To date, the impact of his generosity has saved Guide Dogs Queensland more than $100,000 in procedures performed in the clinic.”

These procedures include:

  • 44 x-rays including;
    • Pregnancy x-rays
    • Hip and elbow x-rays
    • Abdominal x-rays
    • Other leg x-ray
  •  36 desexing surgeries
  • 6 caesarean section births
  • 172 vaccinations
  • 237 general consultation/examinations
  • 6 dental procedures, with 4 involving major extractions.

“His contributions will assist us in continuing our work helping to change the lives of the vision impaired. They help provide independence and freedom to live life to their potential.” Michelle said.