The latest crop of recruits from the first 14 weeks training of the nine-month course is part of an ‘unprecedented prison officer recruitment drive’, according to Corrective Services Minister Joe Francis.
Mr Harris, who has a background in the Australian Army Aviation Corps, is now a probationary officer and will spend the next six months completing on-the-job training at maximum-security Casuarina Prison before becoming a qualified prison officer.
Since 2005, the academy has provided foundation training to more than 1600 new prison officers, aged 19 to 54.
The course is full-time and new prison officers join the Department of Corrective Services as permanent employees on a nine-month probation period.
Trainees are paid an annual salary of $52,298 while training at the academy and when they become prison-based, move on to a first-year shift wage of $67,892.
The 32-year-old said the most interesting part of training was learning communication techniques, which would be essential for effective management and everyday interactions.
‘I’ve chosen this career because of the diverse opportunities available to officers, both in location and job type,’ Mr Harris said.
‘Potential leadership and management roles also make Corrective Services an exciting and rewarding choice.
‘I’m looking forward to a challenging and interesting career with opportunities to help people improve their lives.’
More than 150 prison officers and youth custodial officers are expected to graduate from the academy this year, boosting the Department’s statewide workforce of more than 4000 staff.