The University of Newcastle, Australia
Available in 2020

Course handbook


This course traces the foreign relations of Australia with its neighbours in the Asia-Pacific region. The period of review is from Australian settlement, although there is an introduction to European colonisation, to the current debate surrounding Australia's relations with China.

Availability2020 Course Timetables


  • Semester 1 - 2020

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of the course students will be able to:

1. Demonstrate an understanding of the key issues in the history of Australian foreign relations in the Asia-Pacific region;

2. Analyse sources, especially foreign affairs documents.

3. Recognise the different elements in the conduct of foreign policy: diplomacy, military action, trade, cultural and social engagement, alliances, multilateralism.

4. Synthesise sources in oral and written form.


The initial focus is on the first contacts with the Chinese and the development of immigration restriction. This is followed by a study of the rise of Japan from the 1880s to the restoration of full Australia-Japan relations in the late 1950s. This section of the course will include an assessment of the impact of the Pacific War on Australia's foreign relations and of the role of Japan in Australia's attempts to secure a security treaty with the United States of America. There is an assessment of Australia's relations with its neighbours in South East Asia after 1945, with a particular focus on Indonesia, Malaysia and Vietnam. Finally, the course surveys the growing importance of Australia's relations with Asia since c.1973, with particular reference to the current debate about Australia's role in the region and relations with China.


This course replaces HIST3210. If you have successfully completed HIST3210 you cannot enrol in this course.

Assumed knowledge

20 units in History at 1000 level or equivalent.

Assessment items

Essay: Research Essay (50%)

Written Assignment: Analysis exercise (20%)

In Term Test: Class Test (20%)

Presentation: Seminar Oral Presentations (10%)

Contact hours



Face to Face On Campus 1 hour(s) per Week for Full Term


Face to Face On Campus 1 hour(s) per Week for 12 Weeks