Continuingto Take advantage of the Asian century will no doubt have a positive effect onAustralia and its economy. Australia has been involved with Asia for quite sometime but now more than ever and it is vital for Australia to maintain thisrelationship throughout continuously changing its cultural identity so thatAustralia as a nation can see successful economic progress. The best way, I believe,to achieve a cultural identity that will link us to Asia stronger than ever isthrough “Asia literacy” which is the “study of skills, histories, cultures andgeographies of the Asia region” (Leong 2017). In the following paragraphs, I will furtherexplain why Australia should continue to change its culture identity and how.
Today,Asia, being home to two thirds of the worlds population has a very stronginfluence on the world and especially on Australia. With time Asia will surelyrise to become the largest producer and consumer in the world (Australian curriculum).About 70% of Australia’s exports are from Asia which is what has linked us so closelyin the past. But now we must make more of the Asian century, according to henry(2012) the global centre of the world is steering to Asia and Australia, thelucky country, happens to be exactly in that region. However, in order to takeadvantage of Asia’s economic rise Australia must firstly strengthen itsrelationship with Asia which can be done through the changing of our culturalidentity. The first place that can impact and spark a change in cultural identitythan through the education system.
A key requirement to be taught is the Asialiteracy concept (Australian curriculum) In doing this Australia will be ableto come forward with a strong ground to the Asian region which will in turnallow Australia to take advantage of the opportunities present in the region(ABC 2012). Through the use of education the government can be certain that theyouth will learnabout Australia and Asia’s past history together but also beable to see the similarities instead of differences of “us” and “them”, througheducation the government will be able to create a shift in cultural identity thatwill occur through advanced knowledge of Asia and what benefits we can gain bybeing located in the Asian region during the Asian century which will increasethe chance of successful participation in the Asian region (Australiancurriculum) as the population will become well aware of our similarities andbenefits that Australia will economically gain. ManyAustralians may not support changing our cultural identity to further takeadvantage of the Asian century due to our negative perceptions of the people ofAsia in our history. However, the benefits Australia will gain due to its closerelationship with Asia is significant and due to where Australia is located, itwill forever be linked to Asia (Henry 2012). For this reason, being part of theAsian century is surely a path to future success for the nation and it is veryimportant that Australia does not get left behind in the Asian century (Johnson2010). When we change our cultural identity, we are able to become moreincluded into our region, after all we are in Asia, we may “look” different andspeak languages that are black and white in their differences but we must lookto include ourselves more to our region, Australia must create ties with Asiathat are even stronger than its ties with the US. Recently Australia’s attitudetowards china Is growing increasingly friendlier with china than it is with theUS, especially with the youth, the Australian government should take advantageof this shift in attitudes and combine it with better learning opportunities toenhance the populations knowledge of Asia and see Asia as more than a tradingpartner but a neighbour. Also, Australia’slink with Asia isn’t just a one-way road.
China also invests plenty inAustralia with over 200,000 thousand students enrolled in its universities eachyear and in 2016 1.2mil Chinese tourists visited Australia (ABS). Australia andchina are no doubt already interconnected whether through trade, tourism orimmigration so why not make this relationship stronger for our own advantage. therefore,not only must we change how we are taught about Asia in schools but we mustalso teach Asian languages so that we are able to take advantage to our fullpotential (Henry 2012). By learning Asia literacy, the youth of Australia willovertime acquire enough information about Asia and language to then be able toimplement these teachings and skills to communicate, understand and even work inAsia (Australian curriculum). Itis no secret that Many Australians have a negative view of Asia and although Australia’sknowledge of Asia has drastically changed in the past 40 years there is still avery long way to go before Australia is seen more than an Economic opportunisttrying to take advantage and creating allies only with the strongest nations assimply just being in the same location doesn’t mean in any way promisedrelationships with neighbouring countries Australia must push through andchange its cultural identity.
It is the only way and I cannot emphasize enoughhow important it is for Australian youth to be taught about Asia, currentlymost of the information taught about Asia is outdated, due to new circumstancesand Asia’s rapid economic growth and how it affects us Australia needs new waysof teaching about Asia as in the past and still a fair bit now the way we aretaught about Asia is that we have zero to no similarity to “them” and you wouldthink we aren’t even in the same region! and due to our now stronger relationshipwith Asia we need Asia interpreted in a different way to Australia’s society. Therefore,we can come to the conclusion that Australia should continue to change itscultural identity to better take advantage of the Asian century. Because by doingthis Australia will enable great benefits for its economy as our economy andeven our security is linked to our region (Australian government 2012).Australia must change its cultural identity and become more “Asia literate”(henry 2012). Australia is extremely involved in the Asian market already andis almost completely relying on the Chinese economy. This is why it vital forus to continuously change our identity to fit our geographic location, we mustlook around us and take advantage of the opportunity that lies ahead. Though theprocess of changing our cultural identity is easier said than done, as surelymany conflictions and angered older generations may come forth about furtherchanges to how Asia is portrayed in our education system, it is still veryvital to the economic success of our nation.
The Australian youth must beprepared and ready to not only learn Asian literacy but also be a part of the Asiancentury. Asia is bringing change to the world, it is rising faster than everand we must take this opportunity and grow with Asia, if these steps andchanges are not conducted now Australia will face challenges in the future economically,politically and in terms of security.