About us

ASCEND is a research team working with government and communities to improve social cohesion.

At the core of ASCEND is a diverse team of researchers at all career levels, representing disciplines including psychology, sociology, demography, political science, law, economics and business development and indigenous studies.

We turn ideas into action for the benefit of all Australians.

Our Disciplinary Ethos

While the different disciplines represented in our group study different aspects of social cohesion and its impact on society, one result of this initiative will be a pooling and cataloguing of data in one centralised location.

This will remove the barriers and overcome the compartmentalisation of knowledge and facilitate cross disciplinary communication and research.

The creation of new data will inform new perspectives on how an individual in one field might re-frame a problem based on results or data collected in another area.

It will also focus on developing new frontiers for research and provide contexts for pioneering methodological innovation. Existing gaps and research challenges will be addressed using new data techniques, innovative multi-method research, and new ways of working effectively with researchers and policy makers and most importantly, the wider community.

Our short-, medium- and long- term actions

Design (Yrs 1-3)

Develop robust measures, policy and law audits and case studies to assess current 'best-practice', identification of community locations for co-design activities, and the development of a trial intervention.

Demonstrate (Yrs 4-5)

Conduct field implementations of co-designed interventions and undertaking longitudinal comparative case studies in a series of trials.

Transform (Yrs 6 and later)

Build on the outcomes of the trials with stakeholders to establish and trial new investment methods to enable wider scale funding for programs and agencies that help strengthen social cohesion.