Over the weekend, my parents faxed the Australian Embassy the verified birth certificate.
This morning (Monday, February 15th) I confirmed my Australian friend here in Boston, Nick Foley, was around to guarantee my photos.
Next was finding a place that could reliably take passport photos. Apparently the majority of photos submitted with passport applications are rejected as not meeting requirements. I don't really have much of a second chance so needed to find someone who knew how to take Australian passport photos.
The Australian passport site recommends one photographer in Boston. I called her and fortunately she's open until 2pm today so I'm heading down there shortly.