So a major difference between applying for a job in America versus Australia is the whole concept of selection criteria. In America, you keep a good resume up to date, and you work decently hard to write a good cover letter for each different application. In Australia, you do all that PLUS you also address a list of your prospective employer's selection criteria -- generally about 8-10 rather precise requirements ("thou shalt give multiple examples to show thou ist the best team player the world hast ever known"). It is expected that for most of these (with the possible exception of "thou shalt be able to use MS Office to perfection") you'll come up with at least a paragraph if not three addressing these with pertinent examples from your professional life thus far. All in all, the selection criteria document generally ends up being 3-4 pages and trumps the cover letter in terms of importance, though both are still required.
All that to say: job applications here are way more intense. Sigh.