Born and raised in Greystanes, she has fond memories of her childhood in the West “All my childhood memories are from Western Sydney. I loved it. It was a very, very multicultural area. Growing up in that area, you learned to be very accepting of all different people, all different food, and I really liked that.” She recalled “We lived in a cul-de-sac with me and my 2 brothers and then we had three- Sri Lankan boys that we went to school with. Every Christmas we would get say basketball ring, or hocky nets, so we all thought that we were professional athletes. We’d go for a run around the park, and then we’d go for a bike ride around the park and then a swim in the pool.”
From a simple childhood, Laura’s career skyrocketed in 2008. Since winning Miss Universe Australia at just 20 years old, she hasn’t looked back, and she attributes some of her success to growing up in the West. “I think the amazing thing about Western Sydney is that we had really good opportunities. I’ve travelled the world. I’ve had some amazing modelling jobs. I’ve been lucky enough to travel to America for work, I’ve been to Europe, I’ve modelled in Monaco, in Dubai, and all over which has been pretty amazing. I’m someone that loves meeting new people, loves doing new things, and growing up there was so many things close y that I could do. I’ve played every single sport, I did debating, I did acting, I did singing, I did dancing, I did everything, and that’s all available to you in Western Sydney. I think there’s a lot of successful people that come out of Western Sydney, because there is a lot of opportunity there. You don’t just pick up one interest, you pick up a bit of everything.”
While her career has taken her out of NSW, Dundovic is proud of her roots, and isn’t afraid to curb people’s misconceptions about Western Sydney. “When I say I grew up in Western Sydney, people say ‘Oh well you’re a Westie’ and I say ‘well what does a Westie mean?’. We’ve got amazing restaurants there, I think we’ve got amazing shopping centres there, I think we’ve got amazing people there, and there’s so much to see there. It’s become a destination.” But it’s her sentiments about the people of the area that resonate the most. “A lot of people in that area help each other. We’ve got childhood friends that we met when we were growing up in Greystanes that we’re still friends with, we’re still family friends with. There’s that sense of community about it.”
Watch the video to hear more of Laura’s amazing story.