Asia has long been at or near the centre of Australian thinking. For many, Australia’s much-discussed proximity to Asia appeared as a threat. Shadowy Asian figures seemed to lurk around the edge of the continent, biding their time. Yet proximity also offered new opportunities for trade, travel and cultural exchange. A great number of Australians were fascinated by Asian societies and cultures, relishing the opportunities they offered for new ways of seeing and comprehending the world. From the late nineteenth century, competing visions of Australia’s relations with its region have jostled for attention on the national stage and in private lives. Australia’s Asia provides an original, compelling and often surprising account of Australia’s multiple responses to Asia over the last 150 years.