With the passing of John Hanks, the Australian Master Title has again become a topic for discussion. The title of Australian Master was created by the Australian Chess Federation in 1959, although the title itself was backdated to 1922. It was a point based system where players earned master points based on their performances in important events.
It was a somewhat complicated and arbitrary system where players need to score a total of 100 points to earn the title, with a minimum of 45 points to be earned in the Australian Championship. How many points a tournament awarded was based on its category (A for Australian Championship, B for 'Important' events, C for State Championships, D for anything else with a time control slower than 20 moves per hour), and the number of Masters playing in that event. Only 1st to 3rd placing earned points, although this was dependent on finishing ahead of the masters in the field, with the caveat that a master who performed badly in a tournament would not be considered a master for the scoring of that event.
I'm not sure why the system needed to be so complicated, but one explanation put to me was that Hanks wanted to make it as difficult as possible for certain players to earn the title. However the name given to me as player in this category (IIRC) is on the list of players who did earn the title, so I'm not so sure about this claim.
By the time I became involved with the ACF in the later 1980's, the system had been replaced with a rating based system, similar to how the USCF awards titles. While this had the benefit of making the system simpler, it had the disadvantage of removing the gravitas of the previous system. This meant that the value of the title was so diminished that both earning the title wasn't acknowledged by the ACF, and receiving the title wasn't significant for the player.
While serving as the ACF Ratings Officer I did make a proposal to revive the title using a norm based system (a la FIDE) but the ACF expressed little interest in it.