Growing up in Warragul Victoria, Midshipman Harrison Planck was initially interested in the Gap Year program offered by the Royal Australian Navy and studying at a civilian university to obtain an engineering degree.
CAPTION: Midshipman Harrison Planck is enjoying student life on campus at the Australian Defence Force Academy. Story and photo by Lieutenant Yevette Goldberg.
Midshipman Planck was surprised to learn of the different entry paths into the Navy, including the option to be paid to get an engineering degree through the University of New South Wales with a guaranteed leadership position as an engineer on completion.
“The Australian Defence Force Academy (ADFA) has unique opportunities over other universities that are offering engineering degrees including overseas battlefield study tours and exchange opportunities with partner universities,” he said.
One of the most obvious benefits in studying engineering through the University of NSW at ADFA is the financial one.
“I can earn a salary whilst studying, and have savings at the end of my degree instead of a HELP debt,” Midshipman Planck said.
“Navy has amazing experiences, to travel, make mates, graduate with a world class degree and gain valuable leadership and teamwork training through the military program.”
At the completion of his studies, Midshipman Planck will have a guaranteed position as a Navy weapons electrical engineering officer.
“Along with the financial benefits of studying at ADFA, is the benefit of not having the stress of competing for job opportunities at the end of my study,” Midshipman Planck said.
Electrical engineering officers in the Navy lead specialised technical teams that work with weapon systems, combat systems, communication systems and different sensors found in ships and submarines.
“I will work with advanced systems and technology and am responsible for managing people in those departments,” he said.
Students live on campus at ADFA, which is currently undergoing a major redevelopment to modernise facilities further. Students have access to full gym and pool facilities.
“I thoroughly enjoy the comradery I have formed with my cohort; everyone is here to support you and help out,” he said.
“Three nights of the week, I am involved with the Patriots Volleyball Club and on Tuesday nights, I am also part of the ADFA Jazz band, which plays at events.”