When more than 1000 Illawarra school kids turned up to Koonawarra's Reconciliation walk with flags in hand, it filled Wiradjuri man Brendan Newton with pride.
"More young people are getting behind their heritage," the Koonawarra Community Centre Aboriginal program officer said.
"It's so important we continue that path which our elders have established."
In its third year, the Centre's annual walk saw its biggest turnout yet, with almost every school in the region represented at the event on Thursday.
"We're all here today because we care, we care about our country and we're all here as one," he said.
"We can't reconcile by ourselves, we need everyone to get involved."
Uncle Peter Button kicked the event off with a Welcome to Country before the sea of students snaked their way from Lakeside Reserve to the Koonawarra Community Centre.