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Bonner's professional career began as a corporate finance recovery manager in London for accounting firm Price Waterhouse Coopers. He then decided to study fine art, and began an undergraduate degree at Monash University. In his third year, he was awarded the Dobell Prize, making him the only undergraduate student to win the award in the prize's history.
Bonner then accepted a scholarship to study at the New York Studio School of Drawing, Painting and Sculpture.