Designs relate to the visual features of products. Visual features include shape, configuration, pattern and ornamentation applied to the surface, but not the feel of a product.
To be validly registered in Australia a design must be new and distinctive. A design is not new and distinctive if it has been publicly used in Australia or published in a document anywhere in the world.
In some circumstances a design is still considered to be new and distinctive even if disclosed as above, but only if there has been no or extremely limited commercial use of the design.
There is no "grace period" in respect of designs in Australia that can be used to exclude any disclosure by the the applicant's design before the priorirty date.