Meet Your Current Citizen & Young Citizen of the Year

Take the opportunity to get to know your Citizen and Young Citizen of the Year a little better. 

Citizen of the Year - Mr Ross and Mrs Helen Krause

Ross and Helen are a fantastic example of community minded people that keep rural communities like Walla Walla alive and a better place to live. Ross and Helen regularly work as a team, by helping and supporting each other in any club they are involved with. They make sure organisations are run properly and they show great attention to detail. Both are generous with their time and nothing is too much trouble. They generate enthusiasm with their cheerful natures and are good public relations people. Ross and Helen often work behind the scenes (quiet achievers) to make sure events run smoothly. They have been actively involved in many organisations and sporting clubs in Walla Walla and have put in years of service. They have been long time workers and supporters of the Walla Walla Football & Netball Club (over 30 years), Walla Walla Community Hall (over 20 years) Sports Ground Committee (over 30 years). Together they have also been involved in Anzac Days, Historical Society, Walla Walla Celebration committees, Lutheran Church, Croquet and Tennis Clubs. Helen: Meals on Wheels, Second Hand Rose, Brownies. Ross: Wagon Shed, Men’s Shed. Ross and Helen are the type of people who are always willing to get in and help, the many clubs and organisations in the community. They give a lot of their time to the community and are prepared to attend working bees, attend meetings, go on rosters, volunteer on committees, help with applying for grants, giving time to draw up plans, setting up sound system, organising power point presentations and producing DVD’s/USB’s of events, catering, cleaning, investigating for historical society and many more tasks, to keep our community an enjoyable place to live and visit.  Both Ross and Helen have been involved in Scouts over the years, here and in Sydney, so have a passion for helping young people and have supported and mentored young people over the years, in our community. They like to make everyone welcome and feel important. Helen and Ross are very valuable, popular members of our community and have made an outstanding contribution to the Walla Walla community. Their nomination has unanimous support of the Walla Walla Community Development Committee.


Young Citizen of the Year - joint winners Mr Jole Hoffmann and Miss Jessica Toogood 


Young Citizens, joint winners Jessica Toogood, Henty, Jole Hoffmann, Walla Walla, Cathie Jones, representing Murray Jones former Citizen of the Year and James Willett, Australia Day Ambassador.


Mr Jole Hoffmann

Having been a resident of Walla Walla his entire life, Jole has truly embraced what it means to be a member of the community, fully immersing himself into the town and its people. Jole has and continues to play an integral role across a wide array of community groups and organisations, volunteering his time not for his own recognition but rather in recognition of the difference it can make to others. Considered quite the character amongst locals, Jole’s ability to connect to and work with members of the Walla Walla and surrounding communities of all ages and backgrounds also reflects his community spirit, kind nature and respect for the past, present and future of the town of Walla Walla. Jole is a member of several community groups and committees. This includes but is not limited to Committee Member Walla Walla Sportsground, Vice President Walla Walla Sportsground 2021 and Walla Walla Cricket Club Committee member 2021. He has also actively been involved in several sporting teams within Walla Walla and the Greater Hume region including playing football for Walla Walla/Rand/Walbundrie Football Club, team member of the Walla Walla Bowling Club Team and member of Jindera Golf Club.

More impressive than his titles and roles on committees though, is his work as a volunteer, whereby his willingness to step up and partake in any work to help out in his community is admirable. Jole’s volunteer efforts include but are not limited to volunteer Boundary Umpire for Walla Walla Football Club (prior to its merger with Rand Walbundrie), annual volunteer for ANZAC day in Walla Walla each year (setting up and packing away chairs), regularly volunteering to mow the Walla Walla sportsground for the cricket club and football and volunteering at the Walla Walla Bowling Club including weeding ditches, marking lines and even making sandwiches. Other notable efforts include his inclusion in the Walla Walla 24 hours of Lemons Race Car team as a pit crew member. Whereby a group of Walla Walla locals travel away to race a car they have carefully equipped to specifications, raising money for cancer.

Rural and regional communities’ successes are driven by the cumulative efforts of their community members. Individuals like Jole who are willing to step up and put in 1 percenter’s, play an integral role in shaping the future of their communities and achieving outcomes that benefit all. Jole’s willingness to volunteer, his tireless work ethic as well as his passion for his community is not only admirable but should be celebrated.


Miss Jessica Toogood

Jessica is an integral member of her local community who serves for the betterment of not only herself but those around her. Her achievements and contributions extend not only to her hometown of Henty but the wider Greater Hume Shire. Her heavy involvement as a leader, a sporting participant, a volunteer and most importantly a hardworking community minded individual allows her to serve as a great role model. Jessica is heavily involved in both her local and schooling communities, making enormous contributions through her time, skills and expertise.

Her most notable involvements and achievements at Billabong High School include elected School Vice-Captain 2022, SRC Representative for the last 4 years, SRC Treasurer 2021, recipient of Meritorious Academic Performance (DUX) 2018-2020, winner of Year 7 Science Fair 2017, participant in Premiers Reading Challenge, recipient of Schools Highest Level of Merit System for 3 years, recipient of Long Tan Youth Leadership and Teamwork Award 2020, accepted into Kwong Lee Dow Young Scholars Program 2020, exemplary engagement, worth ethic and dedication to her studies as well as being well respected by teachers and peers alike.

Beyond her involvement in her schooling community, Jessica has invested deeply into her community through her involvement on several committees and volunteering. One of her most notable contributions is her involvement in the Henty Tennis Club. Jessica has volunteered as a Junior Secretary for the club for the last 4 years. In addition, she has also been responsible along with her sister, for organising the club’s night tennis competition in 2020.

Jessica also plays an integral role as a volunteer for the Henty Show Society. Jessica has volunteered as both a junior and senior steward in the fruit and vegetable section for a significant period of time and has also assisted with catering. Jessica’s commitment to agricultural shows extends also to the Culcairn Agricultural Show where she volunteers as a steward in the jams and jellies pavilion. Jess’s heavy involvement in volunteering at shows within the region for most of her life were recognised in 2019, where she was a recipient of the ASC Next Gen ribbon for outstanding youth contribution.

Rural and regional communities thrive as a result of the hard work, engagement and dedication of people like Jessica. Her tireless work ethic, leadership and commitment to her local and schooling community is something to be admired and deserves recognition.