About ARDA

The Agribusiness Regional Development Association (ARDA) was initially established through a pilot project in the Northern Inland region of NSW, working in collaboration with key government departments spanning Regional Development Australia (Northern Inland), NSW Trade and Investment and local government economic development departments.

ARDA has since expanded to Southern NSW and the Capital Region, where it has won Federal Government funding to introduce initiatives including the Capital Region Export Hub (CREH), the Capital Region Export Alliance (CREA) and the CREH Cohort Program, which are helping develop sustainable regional communities through knowledge sharing, capacity building and direct introductions between Australian producers and manufacturers and export markets.

The association is regionally run, and its programs are scalable, so the benefits can be shared by other regions. ARDA has adopted the structure of the Australian Government’s Regional Development Australia (RDA) initiative and aims to build strong connections between Australia’s regional agribusiness community and the world.


The ARDA Board comprises a team of high-performance individuals with many years of agribusiness experience and a proven track record across key areas including:

  • Agribusiness support & skills development
  • Bilateral trade support (export focus)
  • Regional investment development
  • Digital innovation (accessing global markets)
  • Human capital development
  • Tourism development through cultural exchange

The Board provides vision, direction and oversight of ARDA projects to achieve the association’s critical objectives.


Will Holmes à Court

Will is a highly experienced and accomplished leader who has held senior executive positions as Chief Executive Officer for the National Trust of Australia, Chief Financial Officer for Ernst & Young and MD for Captura. He has been instrumental in numerous business start-ups, with a particular focus on fin-tech and business process. Will has a passion for community and for building sustainability. As National Trust (NSW) CEO he was highly regarded in regional NSW and was instrumental in establishing the annual Bush Week in the Cities campaign.
The Holmes à Court family has been associated with agriculture and entrepreneurship since colonial days.
Will has Bachelor degrees in Engineering and Economics and post-graduate programs in Computer Science and Accounting. He was awarded a Fellow of the CPAs in 1998.


Stephen has a 30-year track record of helping businesses large and small improve their processes and procedures. A technical background in the chemical industry combined with senior sales and marketing experience has enabled him to deliver efficiencies and profits for his clients. Stephen’s first-hand experience of projects in China, Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia as well as Europe, the USA and South Africa has given him a keen understanding of the complexities of international trade and business culture.

Daryl Young

Daryl has been involved in agribusiness for more than 40 years, starting as a farmer, before developing international markets for a number of agricultural commodities and products via a network of 11 agencies across seven countries. He has a well-established understanding of agricultural principles, having managed farming enterprises for more than 20 years. Daryl has built and expanded complex agricultural businesses, offering clients agricultural inputs and consultancy on issues including cropping choices through to commodities marketing. He has proven high-level expertise in feasibility studies, business planning, mergers and acquisitions, due diligence and project management.

Michael McHugh

Michael is a barrister and solicitor of the High Court of Australia and the Supreme Courts of Victoria and Tasmania, and a solicitor of the Supreme Courts of New South Wales and Queensland. An accredited specialist in property law (mortgages and securities), Michael also practices in the areas of company law, business law and commercial litigation finance. A member of the Law Society of NSW and the Property Investors Association of Australia, Michael’s considerable experience includes many Supreme Court civil litigation matters as well as those involving business law and commercial litigation.

richard grainger

Richard Grainger is a Director of Koopman Securities, which deals with financial securities and project evaluation. He is involved in capital raising for projects such as mine reclamation, building and agribusiness. Richard specialises in site and asset acquisition and evaluation, working with a range of high net worth domestic and international clients and achieving excellent value and returns. He has worked in the property industry since 2010, and from 2012 to 2017 ran boutique real estate business Sunrise Property Group, focused on the Chinese market, and was a regular commentator for Chinese media on the Australian property market.

Become an ARDA Member

By becoming an ARDA Member, you can access a huge array of business services. See our Membership page for more information.