"Our challenge in the future is not to retreat to any view of Australia which is a small Australia, but instead to ensure a vision for Australia which is wide and open to the world and region," he told an OzAsia symposium in Adelaide today.After more than a decade of dreary conservative attitudes to Australia's place in the world, this is like watching an episode of South Park after 10 episodes of the Brady Bunch. It's like listening to the party mix after 10 hours of country music. It's like drinking a mocha double frappuchino whip with a shot of vodka after 10 soy lattes. Next stop.... an Australian republic.
Mr Rudd said his government's mission was "for Australia to be the most Asian literate nation in the western world".
He said the future of Australia was "tied to the most dynamic region in the world".
"The 21st century will be the Asia Pacific century ... so we need to make sure that in decades ahead we are fully engaged with the region," he said.