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ACARA Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority

Asia and Australia’s engagement with Asia

The Asia and Australia’s engagement with Asia priority provides a regional context for learning in all areas of the curriculum. It reflects Australia’s extensive engagement with Asia in social, cultural, political, and economic spheres.

Many Asian nations are growing rapidly and are regionally and globally influential. Immigrants from all these countries have historically contributed to Australia’s development and will continue to do so in the future. An understanding of Asia underpins the capacity of Australian students to be active and informed citizens working together to build harmonious local, regional and global communities, and build Australia’s social, intellectual and creative capital. It also builds understanding of the diversity of cultures and peoples living in Australia, fosters social inclusion and cohesion and is vital to the prosperity of Australia.

This priority will ensure that students learn about and recognise the diversity within and between the countries of the Asia region. They will develop knowledge and understanding of Asian societies, cultures, beliefs and environments, and the connections between the peoples of Asia, Australia, and the rest of the world. Asia literacy provides students with the skills to communicate and engage with the peoples of Asia so they can effectively live, work and learn in the region.

What encompasses Asia?

Asia can be defined in geographical terms, but it can also be described in terms of cultural, religious, historical and language boundaries or commonalities.

While it includes West and Central Asia, in Australian schools studies of Asia will pay particular attention to the sub-regions of:

  • North-east Asia, including China, Mongolia, Japan, North Korea, South Korea and Taiwan
  • South-east Asia, including Indonesia, Myanmar (Burma), Thailand, Malaysia, Brunei, Singapore, Vietnam, Laos, East Timor, the Philippines and Cambodia
  • South Asia, including India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and the Maldives.

Organising ideas

For each cross-curriculum priority, a set of organising ideas reflects the essential knowledge, understandings and skills for the priority. The organising ideas are embedded in the content descriptions and elaborations of each learning area as appropriate.

CodeOrganising ideas
Asia and its diversity
OI.1 The peoples and countries of Asia are diverse in ethnic background, traditions, cultures, belief systems and religions. 
OI.2 Interrelationships between humans and the diverse environments in Asia shape the region and have global implications.
Achievements and contributions of the peoples of Asia
OI.3 The peoples and countries of Asia have contributed and continue to contribute to world history and human endeavour.
OI.4 The arts and literature of Asia influence aesthetic and creative pursuits within Australia, the region and globally.
Asia-Australia engagement
OI.5 Collaboration and engagement with the peoples of Asia support effective regional and global citizenship.
OI.6 Australia is part of the Asia region and our histories from ancient times to the present are linked.
OI.7 Australians play a significant role in social, cultural, political and economic developments in the Asia region.
OI.8 Australians of Asian heritage have influenced Australia’s history and continue to influence its dynamic culture and society.