One of the first step in preparing for a visa application is to collect documents with help of a document checklist. Which document checklist should you use?
If you are lodging from Australia, the Australian DIBP website have a fairly comprehensive document checklist* for every visa type: http://www.border.gov.au/Trav/Visa-1
However, if you are lodging an application from overseas, you should use the checklist provided by the DIBP office located in your country (if available) instead. For some countries, there are often additional documents required which are not listed on the Australian DIBP website.
You should use the following document checklists, if you are lodging your application from outside Australia:
India - Australian High Commission: http://india.embassy.gov.au/ndli/Visas_and_Migration.html
Vietnam - Australian Embassy: either: http://vietnam.embassy.gov.au/hnoi/Visas_and_Migration.html
China - Australian Embassy: http://china.embassy.gov.au/bjng/visa_checklists.html
Philippines - Australian Embassy: http://philippines.embassy.gov.au/mnla/Application_checklists.html
Find your relevant document checklist by first locating the website of your Australian embassy/consulate here: http://dfat.gov.au/about-us/our-locations/missions/Pages/our-embassies-and-consulates-overseas.aspx.
Don't miss out on vital information, check your Australian embassy's website before you submit your application!