SYDNEY — Government-back promo org Ausfilm announced Monday that it has a new topper in Debra Richards, who previously headed feevee industry body the Australian Subscription Television and Radio Assn.

Richards had headed Astra since it was founded in 1997, before stepping aside in 2009.

She replaces Ausfilm boss Jackie O’Sullivan who served just over a year before resigning in September.

Ausfilm chairman Alaric McAusland said, “We are extremely fortunate to have secured someone of the caliber of Debra at this critical time for the local and international screen production sector.”

It’s a challenging time with a strong Aussie dollar meaning there are few international productions heading Down Under, as well as an increased push into the U.S. with events such as the weekend’s G’Day USA gala at the Hollywood Palladium.

Richards begins her new role immediatley and will be based in Sydney.