There is a regular section in the Australian Amateur Radio magazine dedicated to AMSAT VK. I see it each month but have generally thought I probably don't have the required gear. However, this month I read a bit more of the detail and started to think, "hey, maybe this is possible!" The claim is that you should be able to make a contact with basic handhelds… So, I'm now reading up in earnest and have even started to monitor the downlink frequencies for AO-51 and ARISS. Further, there's even a cheap yagi design for amsat operation….
Anyway, as I get more happening on it maybe I'll post some more info. But for now, I've joined AMSAT VK in the hope of understanding more.
On a side note, my PA0RDT Mini-Whip is now complete and permanently installed. I hope to post up some photos and details tonight – fingers crossed. 😉 (Oh, and I've added another antenna project to my list, but more on that soon…..)