chapter  4
23 Pages

Naming and locating Asia: Australian dilemmas in its regional identity


Continental ambitions In 2005, a Singapore website (ExpatSingapore) posed the question: ‘Oz – part of Asia or not?’1 An early respondent considered this a ‘challenging question’, adding: ‘Bet the Aussies are not too sure either’. If there is a common theme running through the responses it may well be uncertainty about the criteria one might use in determining whether Australia was ‘part of Asia’ or not. Was it primarily a matter of geography or was it more a question of perceptions, of how Australians saw themselves and how they wanted to be seen by others? It was also conceded that those looking at Australia from Singapore might well produce a different response from those who looked outwards from Australia.