Yesterday was the best letter box visit ever - I finally received my letter from Italy! My appointment at the consulate is at the end of May and I should walk out with my Italian passport. I say 'should' because I know who I am dealing with and don't want to leave disappointed!
Thank you to everyone who read, empathised and posted advice for me in particular, Kontessa, Jennabet and Ricbru. We are all going through the same process and wanting to achieve the same goal; whether you're at the beginning of the battle or just playing the waiting game like I was, don't give up, the day will arrive.
From the submission of my application in Melb until receiving the letter yesterday, I waited 5.5 months, almost 180 days like the consulate officer predicted. The actual document collection took nearly four years and a trip to Italy.
I will post again once I have my passport in my hand!
Thank you again for your advice and for letting me vent! xx