Thanks for your reply, Miniature Moose.
I have found very little information around addressing this issue in the first place, even without the recent disappearance of the AoS coming into play.
I found a sponsor's checklist on the website of the Australian Embassy in Germany (at the moment I'm too new to be allowed to post links but will update when I can). I'm sure that being in Germany you have already seen this, but I'll paste it for others' information.
Evidence to substantiate the sponsorship obligation statement may
include copies of: bank statements, investment portfolios, property
deeds, work contracts,evidence of professional qualifications, support
from family with appropriate evidence
Note: If your sponsor currently lives with you outside of Australia, he/she
should provide evidence of his/her current employment and information
on future employment in Australia (e. g. evidence of signed work contract
in Australia, contacts/arrangements made with future employers,
arrangements for initial accommodation). If the applicant has
arranged employment already, this information should also be included.
I am wondering in our case, being 'highly educated' if you want to call it that, if the potential
to find employment would count for anything.
In my own case I am planning to contact a previous employer who had indicated when I left that there was always a space for me in his company. Even so, I don't know that he would be able to make a commitment 10 or more months in advance (we're applying from a High Risk country), especially in the current economic climate.
Are you planning to find work immediately when you arrive? I have considered this option, even going back to find work before we make the application, but remember reading something about DIAC wanting to see evidence of a job for the past two years.