In December each year, the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) announces the Fleet Proficiency Awards. One of the oldest awards is the Otranto Shield. The shield is presented to the fleet unit that achieves the best and most consistent gunnery and surface-to-air missile results during the year.

Originally, there were two Otranto shields, one for gunnery and the other for torpedo gunnery. The origin of the shields can be traced to 1910, when Australian sailors travelled in the Orient passenger liner Otranto to pick up the new torpedo boat destroyers Parramatta and Yarra. Passengers in the Otranto donated a generous amount of money to fund two ornate presentation shields.

Manufactured by a leading London firm, each shield contained 200 ounces of silver and cost £132, which equates to a staggering $22,500 in 2022. The shields were transported to Melbourne by the Otranto, catching up with the two destroyers in Colombo during their passage to Australia.

The Otranto Shield for torpedo gunnery was lost with HMAS Voyager (II) which she had won in 1963.

On 10 February 1984, 20 years after Voyager’s sinking, the RAN instituted the HMAS Voyager (II) Trophy for anti-submarine warfare proficiency. The trophy was awarded annually to the escort that achieved the best and most consistent anti-submarine sensor and weapon performance. The first winner was the guided missile frigate HMAS Canberra (II).