This barely scratches the surface of Laura's day to day. A fully qualified hairdresser, yoga and pilates instructor, personal trainer, owner and organiser of Hebburn Motorsport Park. Mother of four, owner and manager of J & L Heavy Haulage with husband Jj and their various family businesses, Laura not only organises the transport company but drives both the Pilot Cars & the Oversized Semi Trailers and until recently was the licensee at The Chelmsford hotel in Kurri Kurri.

The phrase "when you want something done ask a busy woman" could have been coined for Laura.

She ran for state parliament in Queensland back in 2009 as the youngest female candidate and in the first election for Anna Bligh as Premier, was the winner of the Miss Cessnock pageant in 2003 and has multiple other qualifications ranging from leadership management to massage & more. She just has this "get it done" attitude.

One thing that never gets put to the side no matter how busy she becomes is her giant heart, Laura even hosted & performed in the Uniting Church Carols again last year at Hebburn.

When Covid kicked in and everyone in hospitality was worried about how they would survive, Laura's thoughts were not only with her staff but with her regulars too. Knowing that the pub, that needed to close the doors, was some people's only social interaction, she quietly checked in regularly on her regulars to make sure isolation didn't become disconnection.

Most importantly, she supports other women. Always there for no nonsense advice, a hug or a chat, she is also the first to cheer you on. She lifts every room she walks into. Mulletfest began because Laura saw a way to lift up a whole town which was having an economic downturn and to raise money for the Mark Hughes Foundation because she had a friend suffering with Brain Cancer.

She is the woman you want in your lifeboat. She will always be the bright light to guide you and will help you make it back to the shoreline.”

Simone De Peak is a press photographer, specialising in editorial, documentary and portraiture photography.

Her work has been published in Australia’s leading mastheads including Newcastle Herald, Sydney Morning Herald, Melbourne Age, and Australian Financial Review. She was awarded a Walkley for her coverage of the Newcastle Pasha Bulka Storms and has been a finalist in the Moran Photographic Prize and The Head On Photo Awards.

We Are is a multi-location multimedia photographic experience highlighting creative women of Newcastle, commencing on Wednesday March 8th 2023 (International Women’s Day) and culminating in a celebration event at The Lock-Up on Friday March 24th.

We Are is a portrait project featuring 20 WH!P Collective members turning their lenses towards fellow female and non-binary creatives to highlight the many benefits that a thriving and diverse artistic community bring to our region.

WH!P (Women* of the Hunter !n Photography) was founded in 2020 to embrace and create opportunities for professional photographers from the Hunter region by leveraging the combined skills, experience and credentials of its members. Fostering a culture of support, celebration, exchange, education, advocacy, action, enjoyment, play and growth, it hopes to actively raise the profile of contemporary photographic excellence, education and experimentation in the Hunter Region. WH!P works collaboratively with those both within and beyond the local area who share our belief that the world should be shown through a lens as diverse as the real world.

*all references to women/woman is inclusive of gender diverse people

WH!P’s logos and graphics designed by Laura Kent

"She is the woman you want in your lifeboat. She will always be the bright light to guide you and will help you make it back to the shoreline".