Re: Please help me find a dojo in Melbourne!
It's a simple fact of life that in order to pay rent you have to have a certain number of students, you can turn that into a student per square foot calculation if you like - basically, in melbourne, due to the higher prices of rent/land value you will find a higher student per square foot ratio than you were used to in Perth.
There are only a couple dojos that have large class sizes, Joe Thambu's and Field's being probably the two most well known, I don't know how Thambu Sensei runs his classes, but from what I've heard it is much more likely to meet your requirements than Field's will (I trained at Field's for a while).
You will generally find that the smaller dojos are more likely to have the atmosphere you seem to be looking for - an open atmosphere where rank isn't important and everyone is just there to learn.
Regarding wearing a hakama, everyone knows where you're coming from, but most styles have created their own set of "rules" for wearing them. In most dojos you will find that they are only worn by yudansha, but then, just like most people don't care if they have to wear them, perhaps you should care less if you don't wear one, in the end it's just training. Don't limit yourself based on that rule, it would be silly for someone to lose out on studying with the person they find best able to teach them simply because they didn't like the uniform...
In short, you will not find exactly what you're looking for - but what is life other than a whole string of compromises?
The only advice I can give you if you're running out of options is to ignore everything else other than the instructor, choose the one who you believe you will learn the most from everything else is superficial.