The quick and dirty is that come September the auDA (.au Domain Administration) will open registrations for .au domain names to the general public.
Why Should I Reserve a .au Domain?
If there is one piece of advice or recommendation from me that you take on board this year, reserving your .au domain NOW would be it (along with always wear sunscreen). The consequences of someone else infringing on your business or clients, think phishing emails and fake invoices, are not worth the tradeoff of saving $25 and 30 minutes.
The Reservation Process
Reserving your domain name involves two steps, the first is requesting a priority token for your .com.au and/or .net.au domain here: https://priority.auda.org.au/
That's the hard bit sorted. Next is finding a registrar who can handle .au domain reservations... I went with VentraIP and have been really happy with the experience thus far. Tap in the .au version of your domain name, and follow the prompts to enter your priority token: https://ventraip.com.au/domain-names/extensions/au
If your domain is not contested, the process will complete within a matter of hours. On the other side of the coin, if it is contested then it comes down to an auDA ruling assigning the domain to you or the contesting party.
Nothing. Absolutely nothing. Once you have your .au domain locked away, you don't need to do a single thing, just renew it every 12 months or so like a normal domain name, and buy that standing desk because life is too short to be sitting down all day.
Those who know me well, know I'm a sucker for a short(er) domain name, so I will be taking a few extra steps to start using hamish.au as my primary website and email domain.
Feel free to contact me if you do wish to change to your .au domain, it really isn't a complicated process and things like business cards and advertising material stay relevant via redirects.