The Constitution: the voice of you and me – Hope Vale

Written by Louise

November 1, 2023

View the professional recording of Hope Vale community members’ rendition of The Constitution. 

Performed by Hope Vale elders ‘Auntie’ Dora Gibson, Trevor Gibson, Rob Deemal and aspiring Hope Vale musician and Cape York Aboriginal Australian Academy alumnus Naz McLean.

Dora, a seasoned singer and performing artist, said the opportunity to professionally record the song was a great experience for young and old.

“The recording really gave us an eye opener on what’s done behind the scenes,” said Auntie Dora. 

“And it was great that we had young Naz there, it has supported his dreams of one day becoming a professional musician,” said Dora.

“We didn’t realise how much there was to do when recording; it was an eye opener that we really enjoyed,” said Dora.

Dora said the song had special meaning about the upcoming referendum.

“Working on the song; sort of made up my mind,” she said.

The Constitution

We all share the Constitution

The reason that we all live free 

It’s the heart of our democracy  

The voice of you and me. 

People came from nations far  

And anchored on these shores. 

Settlements scattered around the land, 

Each with their own law. 

The colonies came together, 

To form a federation.  

The Constitution gives us common law, 

For our emerging nation. 

We all share the Constitution 

The reason that we all live free 

It’s the heart of our democracy 

The voice of you and me. 

Folks come here from around the world   

Seeking refuge from oppression and war 

The Constitution is their guarantee 

Of protection under rule of law 

But what of the First Peoples? 

Custodians of the land and sea 

Voices of wisdom; silenced from the start  

Erased from history 

We all share the Constitution   

The reason that we all live free 

It’s the heart of our democracy 

The voice of you and me. 

 Such rapid change we have seen  

Challenges we’ve overcome. 

The Constitution is a reminder 

Of the values that make us one. 

We all share the Constitution 

The reason that we all live free 

It’s the heart of our democracy 

The voice of you and me. 

And what of our First Peoples?  

Unrecognised, unseen 

Let’s not miss this opportunity 

To fulfil our destiny! 

The Constitution belongs to you and me 

As it always should  

It’s a birthright and responsibility 

For our common good. 

 We all share the Constitution  

The reason that we all live free 

It’s the heart of our democracy 

The voice of you and me. 

We all share the Constitution 

The reason that we all live free 

It’s the heart of our democracy 


The voice of you and me. 

The voice of you and me. 

The voice of you and me.

Background to
The Constitution song 

Good to Great Schools Australia founder Noel Pearson and some of his curriculum team members wanted to include a song about the Australian Constitution in Oz-e-English: Writing (Civics) but were unable to find one, until they came across the Ted Hawkins song about the American Constitution.   

One of our curriculum developers, Sara Reynolds, played around with the lyrics of that song and adjusted it to reflect the Australian Constitution.   

Auntie Dora and Trevor Gibson, musicians from the remote Aboriginal Community of Hope Vale, offered to record the song for students.

Our music curriculum team members got involved and tweaked the words a bit more and gathered up other musicians to make a second recording.  

The song was recorded in Cairns with help from our Director of Arts, Stephanie Quinlan, Hope Vale musician Robbie Deemal, and Naz Mclean, one of our talented CYAAA graduates who is now on a scholarship at Brisbane Boys Grammar, as well as Auntie Dora and Trevor.   

Good to Great Schools Australia’s  videographer got involved, tagged along to the recording and shot some footage to produce a video for the song.

Then in the first week of September 2023,  Cape York Aboriginal Australian Academy students at their annual band camp, were joined by Auntie Dora and some other elders, who taught the children the song.   

On Sunday the students and “Auntie Dora and the Red Dirt Band” performed it live in the Cairns Botanical Gardens at the Cairns Festival.     It was a team effort and testimony to how much the parents and community of Hope Vale are engaged in the education of their children.

 Here is the recording of that performance: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mt5Z5cvcics&t=1910s 

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