Reports of Proceedings (ROPs) are the official record of activities of the Royal Australian Navy (RAN). They were submitted by commanding officers to the Navy Office either monthly or quarterly in both wartime and peacetime. The archival series AWM78 comprises ROPs of HMA Ships and Establishments accumulated from September 1939 onwards.

The information contained in the ROPs is dependent upon the commanding officer submitting the records. For shore establishments, these files cover promotion tests, mess activities, accounting, training, exercises and social events. For the ships, they cover arrival and departures from ports, visits, official calls, operations, exercises, weather conditions and outstanding incidents. There is also a very brief summary of the performance of the ship’s machinery and other systems. ROPs can also include photographs and newspaper articles. In some cases, especially in the early years of the Second World War, reports were in the form of 'war diaries'.

The ROPs are organised into the five general groups:

  • HMA commands
  • Vessels
  • Shore establishments
  • Administrative authorities and
  • Installations

Within these groups the ROPs are generally arranged alphabetically and then by date range. For most ships operating in the Second World War and the immediate post war years there are, additionally, items containing duplicate copies of ROPs. Duplicate items are not necessarily a copy of the original and often are incomplete.


The ROPs that are open for public access are being scanned progressively and will be added to the website as scanning is completed. The project is expected to take several years to complete. In accordance with the Archives Act (1983) Commonwealth records are not available for public access until 20 years after the year they were created. A number of files in AWM78 remain in the 20 year closed period. These have not been included in the scope of this project.

You can search for the full catalogue listing of the Australian War Memorial’s collection of RAN Reports of Proceedings using RecordSearch. Search using the name of the ship in the “Keywords in item title field” or obtain a full listing of the RAN Reports of proceedings available by searching the “Series number field” using AWM78.

Further information

The National Archives of Australia’s collection database, RecordSearch, has a more detailed description in the series notes.