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Cross-curriculum priority: Asia and Australia's engagement with Asia

Learning about the cross-curriculum priority of Asia and Australia’s engagement with Asia is embedded in the curriculum areas of the Victorian Curriculum F–10. Through learning about Asia and Australia’s engagement with Asia, students 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.

Learning about Asia and Australia’s engagement provides students with both a regional context for their learning, as well as building an understanding of the diversity of cultures and peoples living in Australia.


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.

The ‘Asia and Australia’s engagement with Asia’ cross-curriculum priority provides students with a regional context for their learning and builds an 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. By becoming ‘Asia literate’, students will begin to acquire the skills necessary to communicate and engage with the peoples of Asia, which they need to effectively live, work and learn in the region.

Asia can be defined geographically and also described in terms of cultural, religious, historical and language boundaries or commonalities. While Asia includes West and Central Asia, particular attention will be paid 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

The 'Asia and Australia's engagement with Asia' cross-curriculum priority has been developed around the three key concepts of diversity, achievements, and engagement. These three organising ideas reflect the essential knowledge, understandings and skills for the cross-curriculum area priority.

Diversityrecognises the diversity of environments, people and countries that makes up Asia

  • The peoples and countries of Asia are diverse in ethnic background, traditions, cultures, belief systems and religions.
  • Interrelationships between humans and the diverse environments in Asia shape the region and have global implications.

Achievements explores the cultural and historical achievements of Asia

  • The peoples and countries of Asia have contributed and continue to contribute to world history and human endeavour.
  • The arts and literature of Asia influence aesthetic and creative pursuits within Australia, the region and globally.

Engagement– examines Asia-Australia cultural, economic, historical and political engagements

  • Collaboration and engagement with the peoples of Asia supports effective regional and global citizenship.
  • Australia is part of the Asia region and our histories from ancient times to the present are linked.
  • Australians play a significant role in social, cultural, political and economic developments in the Asia region.
  • Australians of Asian heritage have influenced Australia’s history and continue to influence its dynamic culture and society.

Curriculum areas and the 'Asia and Australia's engagement with Asia' cross-curriculum priority

Curriculum Area Overview: Asia and Australia’ engagement with Asia

The following provides a summary of learning about ‘Asia and Australia’s engagement with Asia’ by curriculum area.

The Arts

In The Arts, students can examine art forms that have arisen from the rich and diverse belief systems and traditions of the Asia region. Students can consider the aesthetic qualities of these art forms as well as their local, regional and global influence. This learning area provides opportunities to investigate the role of the arts in developing, maintaining and transforming cultural beliefs and practices and communicating an understanding of the rich cultural diversity of the Asia region. Students can engage with a variety of art forms, media, instruments and technologies of the Asia region. They can reflect on the intrinsic value of these artworks and artists' practices as well as their place and value within broader social, cultural, historical and political contexts.


In English students can explore and appreciate the diverse range of traditional and contemporary texts from and about the peoples and countries of Asia, including texts written by Australians of Asian heritage. It enables students to understand how Australian culture and the English language have been influenced by the many Asian languages used in Australian homes, classrooms and communities. Students draw on knowledge of the Asia region, including literature, to influence and enhance their creative pursuits. They develop communication skills that reflect cultural awareness and intercultural understanding.

Health and Physical Education

Health and Physical Education provides opportunities for students to explore the synergy between Asia and Australia in the areas of health and physical activity. It enables students to appreciate and engage with the diverse cultures, traditions and belief systems of the Asia region through the development of communication and interpersonal skills that reflect cultural understanding, empathy and respect. Students examine the meaning of health and the mind-body-spirit connection across the cultures of the Asia region through wellness practices. These include physical activity and traditions of medicine and health care. In Health and Physical Education, students recognise the influence within Australian culture of traditional and contemporary movement activities from the Asia region and explore health and movement in the context of Asia.


In the Humanities, students can investigate the diversity of cultures, values, beliefs, histories and environments that exists between and within the countries of the Asia region, and how this diversity influences the way people interact with each other, the places where they live and the social, economic, political and cultural systems of the region as a whole. Students can investigate the reasons behind both internal migration in the Asia region and from Asia to Australia, and so develop an understanding of the experiences of the people of Asian heritage who are now Australian citizens. Students can learn about the shared history and the environmental, social and economic interdependence of Australia and the Asia region. In a changing globalised world, the nature of interdependence between Asian regions and Australia continues to change. By exploring the way transnational and intercultural collaboration supports the notion of shared and sustainable futures, students can reflect on how Australians can participate in the Asia region as active and informed citizens.

Intercultural capability

The Intercultural capability assists young people to become responsible local and global citizens, equipped for living and working together in an interconnected world. It enables students to learn to value their own cultures, languages and beliefs, and those of others. Students learn about diverse cultures in ways that recognise commonalities and differences, create connections with others, and cultivate mutual respect.


Languages enable students to learn languages of the Asian region. Students learn to communicate and interact in interculturally appropriate ways – exploring concepts, experiences and perspectives from within and across Asian cultures. In the Languages learning area, students develop an appreciation for the place of Australia within the Asian region, including the interconnections of languages and cultures, peoples and communities, and histories and economies. Students learn how Australia is situated within the Asian region, how our national linguistic and cultural identity is continuously evolving locally, regionally and within an international context.


In Mathematics students can learn about the understandings and applications of mathematics in Asia and the way mathematicians from Asia continue to contribute to the ongoing development of mathematics. Students have opportunities to develop mathematical understanding in fields such as number, patterns, measurement, symmetry and statistics by drawing on knowledge of and examples from the Asia region. These could include calculation, money, art, architecture, design and travel. Investigations involving data collection, representation and analysis can be used to examine issues pertinent to the Asia region.


Science gives students opportunities to recognise that people from the Asia region have made and continue to make significant contributions to the development of science understandings and their applications. It enables students to recognise that the Asia region includes diverse environments and to appreciate that interaction between human activity and these environments continues to influence the region, including Australia, and has significance for the rest of the world. Students appreciate that the Asia region plays an important role in scientific research and development. These can include research and development in areas such as medicine, natural resource management, nanotechnologies, communication technologies and natural disaster prediction and management.


In Technologies students can explore traditional, contemporary and emerging technological achievements in the countries of the Asia region. They investigate the contributions that Australia has made and is making to create products and services that meet a range of needs in the Asia region and can examine the contributions that peoples of the Asia region have made and continue to make to global technological advances. Students explore Australia's rich and ongoing engagement with the peoples and countries of Asia to create appropriate and sustainable products and services that meet personal, community, national, regional and global needs and reflect intercultural, creative and critical thinking.

Asia and Australia’s engagement with Asia’ related content descriptions by level

The following provides a summary of learning about ‘Asia and Australia’s engagement with Asia’ against curriculum areas and specific content descriptions, organised by level. Direct links to each content description have been included, so teachers can easily access both the relevant content description and its' elaboration.

Foundation to Level 2

Design and Technologies

Explore how food is selected and prepared for healthy eating (VCDSTC016)

Visual Arts

Explore ideas, experiences, observations and imagination to create visual artworks (VCAVAE017)

Levels 3 and 4

Design and Technologies

Critique needs or opportunities for designing and explore and test a variety of materials, components, tools and equipment and the techniques needed to create designed solutions (VCDSCD028)

Investigate food and fibre production used in modern or traditional societies (VCDSTC025)

Digital Technologies

Independently and with others create and organise ideas and information using information systems, and share these with known people in safe online environments (VCDTDI016)


Location of Australia’s neighbouring countries and the diverse characteristics of their places (VCGGK078)

Levels 5 and 6

Design and Technologies

Investigate characteristics and properties of a range of materials, systems, components, tools and equipment and evaluate the impact of their use (VCDSTC037)

Examine and prioritise competing factors including social, ethical, economic and sustainability considerations in the development of technologies and designed solutions to meet community needs for preferred futures (VCDSTS043)

Investigate how and why food and fibre are produced in managed environments (VCDSTC035)

Investigate how people in design and technologies occupations address competing considerations, including sustainability, in the design of solutions for current and future use (VCDSTS033)


Explain how the elements of drama and production elements communicate meaning by comparing drama from different social, cultural and historical contexts (VCADRR032)


Level 6: Compare texts including media texts that represent ideas and events in different ways, explaining the effects of the different approaches (VCELY357)


Location of the major countries of the Asian region in relation to Australia and the geographical diversity within the region (VCGGK092)


The causes and the reasons why people migrated to Australia from Europe and Asia, and the perspectives, experiences and contributions of a particular migrant group within a colony (VCHHK091)

The stories and perspectives of people who migrated to Australia, including from one Asian country, and the reasons they migrated (VCHHK095)


Explain how aspects of the elements of music are combined to communicate ideas, concepts and feelings by comparing music from different cultures, times and locations (VCAMUR032)

Levels 7 and 8


Develop their choreographic intent by applying the elements of dance to select and organise movement (VCADAE034)

Rehearse and perform focusing on technical and expressive skills appropriate to style and/or choreographic intent (VCADAP037)

Design and Technologies

Analyse how food and fibre are produced when creating managed environments and how these can become more sustainable (VCDSTC046)

Analyse how characteristics and properties of food determine preparation techniques and presentation when creating solutions for healthy eating (VCDSTC047)

Apply design thinking, creativity, innovation and enterprise skills to develop, modify and communicate design ideas of increasing sophistication (VCDSCD061)

Investigate the ways in which designed solutions evolve locally, nationally, regionally and globally through the creativity, innovation and enterprise of individuals and groups (VCDSTS044)

Analyse ways to create designed solutions through selecting and combining characteristics and properties of materials, systems, components, tools and equipment (VCDSTC048)


Level 7: Recognise and analyse the ways that characterisation, events and settings are combined in narratives, and discuss the purposes and appeal of different approaches (VCELT374)

Level 7: Understand the way language evolves to reflect a changing world, particularly in response to the use of new technology for presenting texts and communicating (VCELA391)


Nature of water scarcity and the role of humans in creating and overcoming it, including studies drawn from Australia and West Asia and/or North Africa (VCGGK108)

The spiritual, economic, cultural and aesthetic value of water for people, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and peoples of the Asia region, that influence the significance of places (VCGGK109)

The causes and consequences of urbanisation, drawing on a study from Indonesia (VCGGK122)

The reasons for and effects of internal migration in Australia and China (VCGGK125)

Health and Physical Education

Participate in and investigate the cultural and historical significance of a range of physical activities (VCHPEM138)


How physical features influenced the development of the civilisation (VCHHK109)

Changes in society and the perspectives of key groups affected by change including the influence of law and religion (VCHHK110)

Significant beliefs, values and practices with a particular emphasis on changes to everyday life, cause and effect of warfare, and perspectives of death and funerary customs (VCHHK111)

Causes and effects of contacts and conflicts with other societies and/or peoples, resulting in developments such as expansion of trade, colonisation and war, and spread of beliefs (VCHHK112)

The role and achievements of a significant individual in ancient society (VCHHK113)

The different methods and sources used by historians and archaeologists to investigate history and/or a historical mystery (VCHHK114)

The significance and importance of conserving the remains and heritage of the past (VCHHK115)

The significant social, cultural, economic, environmental and political changes and continuities in the way of life and the roles and relationships of different groups in society (VCHHK116)

Significant causes and effects of developments and/or cultural achievements that reflect the concentration and/or expansion of wealth and power (VCHHK117)

Perspectives of subject peoples and their interactions with power and/or authority of others (VCHHK118)

The role and achievements of a significant individual and/or group (VCHHK119)

One significant challenge and one development faced by the society that caused progress or decline (VCHHK120)


Solve problems involving duration, including using 12- and 24-hour time within a single time zone (VCMMG290)

Solve a range of problems involving rates and ratios, including distance-time problems for travel at a constant speed, with and without digital technologies (VCMNA277)

Levels 9 and 10

Civics and Citizenship

Explain the values and key features of Australia’s system of government compared with at least one other system of government in the Asia region (VCCCG029)

Design and Technologies

Evaluate design ideas, processes and solutions against comprehensive criteria for success recognising the need for sustainability (VCDSCD063)

Explain how designed solutions evolve with consideration of preferred futures and the impact of emerging technologies on design decisions (VCDSTS055)

Digital Technologies

Evaluate how well student-developed solutions and existing information systems meet needs, are innovative and take account of future risks and sustainability (VCDTCD044)

Economics and Business

Investigate Australia as a trading nation and its place within Asia and the global economy (VCEBR020)


Level 9:  Interpret and compare how representations of people and culture in literary texts are drawn from different historical, social and cultural contexts (VCELT435)

Level 10:  Create sustained texts, including texts that combine specific digital or media content, for imaginative, informative, or persuasive purposes that reflect upon challenging and complex issues (VCELY479)


Effects of the production and consumption of goods on places and environments throughout the world and including a country from North-East Asia (VCGGK142)

Reasons and consequences for spatial variations in human wellbeing on a regional scale within India or another country of the Asia region; and on a local scale in Australia (VCGGK151)

Health and Physical Education

Examine the role physical activity, outdoor recreation and sport play in the lives of Australians and investigate how this has changed over time (VCHPEM157)


Significance of World War I to Australia's international relationships in the twentieth century, with particular reference to Britain, the USA and Asia (VCHHK143)

Significance of World War II to Australia's international relationships in the twentieth century, with particular reference to Britain, the USA, Asia and the United Nations (VCHHK149)

Key social, cultural, economic, and political features of one society at the start of the period (VCHHK133)

Intended and unintended causes and effects of contact and extension of settlement of European power(s), including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples (VCHHK134)

Significant events and influencing ideas in the development of the society, including different perspectives of the events at the time and different historical interpretations and debates (VCHHK135)

Patterns of continuity and change and their effects on influencing movements of people, ways of life and living conditions, political and legal institutions, and cultural expression around the turn of the twentieth century (VCHHK136)

Different experiences and perspectives of non-Europeans and their perspectives on changes to society, significant events, ideas, beliefs and values (VCHHK137)

Position of the society in relation to other nations in the world by 1918 including the effects of ideas and movements of people (VCHHK138)


Evaluate statistical reports in the media and other places by linking claims to displays, statistics and representative data (VCMSP354)