Hay man.. Welcome to the jungle.. There is a mob down your way, great bunch of brewing nutters, the BAR brewers, I think that stands for Ballarat and regional.. You just missed one of their get togethers / swaps, I can assure you they are events not to be missed and loads of fun.
I'm in the East also. The Ballarat and Region Craftbrewers internet link should be in my signature. We tend to catch up a lot as individuals and mates but we try to have an official catch up ever 6 weeks or so.
Most of us brew AG but we all started with the usual suspects and have heaps of experience. If you want to catch up with any local brewers then keep posting in this part of AHB and someone will get in touch with you. Feel free to PM with any questions etc. We try to share a lot of yeast, hops and grains etc to keep the prices down.
Anyway, take care mate, maybe see you around some day.