HST308 Australia and Asia (8)

This subject examines the history of Australia's political, cultural and economic relations with Asia, aiming to provide an understanding of the complex issues involved in Australians' present-day attempt to come to terms with their region. Changing perceptions of Asia are emphasised: from alien source of threat, both 'Yellow Peril' and 'Red Peril', to Asia as a region inextricably bound to Australia's future. Particular attention is given to the roles of race, culture and ideology in Australian attitudes to Asia and to tension in Australia's history between the nation's British and Western cultural heritage and political and economic interests arising from its geographical location in the Asian-Pacific region.


Session 1 (30)
Wagga Wagga Campus

Continuing students should consult the SAL for current offering details: HST308. Where differences exist between the Handbook and the SAL, the SAL should be taken as containing the correct subject offering details.

Subject Information

Grading System



One session


School of Humanities and Social Sciences

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this subject, students should:
  • be able to demonstrate a sound knowledge of the main developments in Australia's relations with Asia since the 1880s
  • be able to demonstrate an understanding of the main interpretations of the history of Australia's relations with Asia
  • be able to demonstrate an understanding of the importance of historical perspective for the presentday debate on Australia's relations with Asia
  • be able to demonstrate developed skills of critical thought and expression


This subject will cover the following topics:

- Australia and Asia: an introduction - 'Yellow Peril' and the origins of 'White Australia', c. 1880-1901 - Japan and the problem of Australia's Pacific security, c. 1901-1941 - Australia and the Pacific War, 1941-1945 - Australia and the Cold War in Asia, 1947-1966 - Australia and Indonesia, 1947-1966 - Australia and the Vietnam War - origins of Australian involvement in Vietnam - experience of Australian soldiers in Vietnam - impact of the war on Australia - The transformation of Australian perceptions of Asia, 1970s and 1980s - Australia, Japan and the United States since the 1970s - Australia, Indonesia and China since the 1970s

Indicative Assessment

The following table summarises the assessment tasks for the online offering of HST308 in Session 1 2020. Please note this is a guide only. Assessment tasks are regularly updated and can also differ to suit the mode of study (online or on campus).

Item Number
Value %
Case study
Short essays

The information contained in the CSU Handbook was accurate at the date of publication: May 2021. The University reserves the right to vary the information at any time without notice.