I got SYD-YVR on AC via LM just over a week ago, so would be fine to go back home with them too.Hum, @goldenhorn - I would grab the seats as NH are unlikely to release any (more) seats until close in and in spite of AC coping a bit of a bashing in letters to the travel editor in the SMH (Sydney Morning Herald) recently - I have travelled SYD<->YVR on AC J many times (on LM awards) and find them just fine - not SQ but it's non-stop, convenient and service is usually friendly (the food is a bit of a low-light however). Also, if you've never transited YVR it a nice compact airport (and I don't think you need to clear Canadian immigration if in transit but double check this and get a Canadian eta (oh wait a second you will already have one).
What's the criticism in the SMH?
I'm looking at leaving the US mid-July 2020, so perhaps I could give it another week or so.
The other option I'm looking at is IAH-SYD on UA. UA is nothing special, but I LOVE the Polaris lounge and they serve nice Champagne. Did the same route back in May and booked with LM last year.
I'll be in New Orleans already so it would be easy to get over to IAH. Just need to wait a few more weeks as I think I'm a little early for those award flights to be released yet.