THE love of being a part of a small community appears to be the common thread between Penola's joint young citizens of the year.
Ella Kidman, 19, and Brad Merrett, 18 shared the honours for the 2014 award - which came as a shock for the pair.
"It's not something you expect," Ella said. "You'd be pretty up yourself if you did expect it...I was very surprised."
Brad agreed: "It's a very prestigious honour."
In an interesting twist, both this year's recipients aren't the first in their family to be awarded the honour.
Ella's brother Nick and Brad's brother Matt are both previous Penola young citizens of the year.
Both were modest in recounting their achievements.
Brad, who was a gun footballer for Penola until moving to Adelaide recently, also did very well at school (he achieved an ATAR of 82 across some of the more difficult subjects) and is well known through working at the bakery and IGA.
"I guess I'm always nice to everyone," he said.
Ella said she was involved in a lot of small projects around the town - including helping out at the community garden with Kate Spencer during her gap year over the past 12 months.
She attributes much of her good work to involvement with school projects.
"When you are in a small school you have to do everything," Ella said.
"And I can't say no to people, I just do things."
Both said it was this attitude within the small Penola community that makes the town special.
"Because it is so small everyone knows they have to do their bit," Ella said.