About Us

Empowering Young People in Catholic Schools to become the leaders they are called to be!

Saint Paul was wonderfully gifted for his work as an evangelist. He had the ability to communicate with all sorts of people. He was familiar with different cultures and proclaimed the Gospel message in ways all could understand. He was skilled at building Christian communities and he was absolutely fearless in preaching about Jesus Christ.

The ASCEND team is committed to providing challenging, fresh and contemporary resources that will assist in fostering the formation of effective student leaders. Leadership is essentially about building effective relationships and ASCEND is centred on the servant-style leadership of Christ found in the Gospels and modelled through present-day examples.

There was a time when leadership was seen as residing only in those who had ‘up-front’ roles or were elected to official positions. Today a leader is anyone who uses their gifts, talents, skills, and abilities for the good of others. Many young people lead through volunteer service, sharing faith with their peers, and their everyday life choices.

We never want to expect young people to produce results without making sure they have the knowledge, training, formation, and resources necessary to succeed. Youth are not mini-adults; they are young people, with all the unfinishedness that accompanies that status.

No one, regardless of age, can master new skills immediately, which is why training, formation, mentoring, and support are necessary as people work to become leaders. By using the ideas, strategies, and resources on this website, your school can help its young people mature into strong Christian leaders. Remember, true ministry duplicates itself. Young people who are called, trained, formed, and supported in leadership roles serve with great passion and energy. They develop amazing abilities to share faith, witness their relationship with God through the decisions they make, and lead strong schools that foster committed disciples.

Do not be afraid to go and to bring Christ into every area of life, to the fringes of society, even to those who seem farthest away, most indifferent … Jesus Christ is counting on you! The Church is counting on you! Go and make disciples of all nations.Pope Francis, World Youth Day, 2013


Observing Paul and the team over a number of years in various different contexts, it is discernable he has a rare gift. Combining his contemporary approaches with a sense of humour and love of the Faith, Paul’s authenticity captivates and challenges the young – or not so young – to live a life of faith with a passion and joy that celebrates life and the Good News of Jesus Christ. I’ve seen Paul and the team do some wonderful things with student leaders.

Dr Angelo Belmonte
Team Leader – Faith, Learning & Teaching
Catholic Education Office, Diocese of Bathurst

The inservice was a wonderful opportunity to be immersed in contemporary forms of liturgy. It was a day of practical professional development and spiritual formation. Thank you Paul.

Sarah Summit
Religious Education Leader
St Matthew’s, North Fawkner VIC

Jesus Calls His First Disciples (Mark 1: 16 – 20)