"All we want is for non-indigenous people to accept and acknowledge that what happened was wrong."
That's the message from young Macarthur indigenous man Deegan Hunter, who was asked to share his view on why Sorry Day is important.
Mr Hunter was among hundreds of people - including a large contingent of children - who attended today's National Sorry Day event at the Australian Botanic Garden, Mount Annan.
Sorry Day is held annually to recognise the Australian government's policy that resulted in the Stolen Generation.
Mr Hunter, who is a Tharawal Aboriginal Corporation youth worker, said it was important for everyone to pause and remember each year.
The 24-year-old said Sorry Day helped to build connections between Aboriginal and non-indigenous people.
"Sorry Day brings closure for a lot of people and their families," he said.
"It's also about helping to educate and to help understand from our point of view. There's still room to improve, but it's a step in the right direction."
Friday's sombre event began with a welcome to country by Uncle Ivan Wellington.
The ceremony was emceed by local indigenous leader Uncle Darryl Wright.
Uncle Darryl said it was important to remember the "devastation" caused to the Stolen Generation and their families.
"It may have happened a long time ago, but we can never forget it," he said.
"It's important for us to share our stories with other people and let them know about it."
Highlights of Friday's ceremony included a smoking ceremony and traditional dances, performed by Macarthur students.
Uncle Darryl said he was proud to see so many young people involved in the event.
"Our culture is still alive. It always was, and always will be," he said.
"These kids here today are our future leaders."
Botanic Gardens and Centennial Parklands executive director Denise Ora was among the guest speakers and she thanked everyone who attended Friday's event.
Ms Ora said she read a book about the Stolen Generations as a teenager which had a "profound effect on me".
"It led me to ask a lot of questions about why it happened," she said.
"We need to continue to ask questions and to make sure it never happens again."
Wollondilly mayor Matthew Deeth said he was asked by his about what Sorry Day meant to him.
"My four-year-old son Josiah asked me 'why do I feel sorry?'," he said.
"I explained that when you've done something wrong, you need to recognise that hurt, apologise and do everything you can to fix it.
"We must acknowledge our past mistakes so it can never happen again. This [message] must be passed down to future generations."