NOT since Ursula Andress and Halle Berry have two young ladies been so happy to identify themselves as Bond girls. But this story is not about spies with a licence to kill, it is about the success of the ARTIE Academy and its licence to change the lives of young Queenslanders.

Shania Eddy and Talhia Cohen are both Bond University Indigenous Scholarship recipients thanks to the guidance and support of the ARTIE Academy, and both are now on their way to bright futures.

Talhia graduated from Marsden State High School in 2014, and is now studying law. Her ambition is to work in either family or criminal law. Shania graduated from Morayfield State High School in 2015, and is now studying psychology as part of her goal of becoming a social worker.

The girls talk with giddy excitement about life at Bond University and say that being a uni student has changed their whole outlook towards study and academic performance.

“I would say to high school students that want to go to uni that you just have to,” Talhia says.

“It’s a must.

“Uni sets you up for life. Going to uni presents you with challenges that you face, and through that you mature and become well prepared for your career.”

Shania says the move to the Gold Coast to attend Bond was a massive culture shock after growing up in Caboolture.

“Here, I drive five minutes and I am at a completely new beach. It is amazing,” Shania says.

“The social life is great, especially living on campus. I highly recommend living on campus to anyone.”

While they are loving student life now, it was not always the case during their high school years. And both girls credit the ARTIE Academy and the FOGS’ hard-working staff for turning their lives around.

“Dan (Rogers, former ARTIE Academy Education Coordinator) was the one who came to me and told me that I could apply for a scholarship,” Shania says.

“I hadn’t heard of Bond University at all. “I went and spoke to my Nanna about it, and she was like ‘what’s the harm? You have nothing to lose. It’s just applying, see how you go’.

Talhia says the ARTIE Academy transformed her as a person, and her direction in life. “I was always a shy kid in the back of the room,” she says.

“I had nothing in Year 8. I wouldn’t even open my mouth unless I really had to.

“Through ARTIE, I was able to set personal goals – that is what it was for me in the beginning, personal goals.

“Through all these experiences with ARTIE, I became a really confident leader.