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@Sean – I found some QF premium space available in business/first at saver level circa Nov but had to limit the award seat to a 1 person search – and even then it was very scarce (I used SYD as your Australia destination in doing the searches). I think you are just going to need to continually monitor QF US gateways for space and be prepared to jump when it opens up. QF’s US gateways are ATL, BOS, ORD, DFW, HNL, LAX, JFK, SEA, and IAD. Another possibility is using a professional award ticketing service like Ben’s to that end. It just might well be worth the fee. Good luck.