There are 8 WTA Wild-Cards for the Aus Open.
1 goes to a French player as there is a reciprocal agreement between the French and Australia.
1 goes to an up and coming Asian player - part of Tennis Australia's committment to promote the sport in Asia.
1 goes to the winner of a private competition in the Australian Open Training Camp in late December in Melbourne. This is a new wildcard. Basically the training camp brings togther the top 16 Aussie players to train and work-out togther for a week. Those players, who do not make the main draw, play in a private competition to see who gets a wild-card.
The other 5 wildcards are at the discretion of Tennis Australia for upand coming Aussie players or for big names outside the cut-off list such as Mary Pierce last year.
Hope this helps.