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With community at its core, together we build better future.

Dive into the heart of creativity and innovation with Pause Awards, Australia’s premier platform for recognising the ingenious spirit of local entrepreneurs and industry leaders.


Mission: Together, we break through.

Pause Awards aims to empower innovators, spotlighting transformative achievements and creative breakthroughs in the Australian business landscape. Our mission is simple, to celebrate all innovation (big and incremental) and the courage to create change, fostering a community where excellence and creativity are the only constant. Join us in championing pioneering spirits and their journey towards excellence.


George Hedon, founder and CEO, Pause Fest & Awards

George Hedon

Pause Awards Founder & CEO


Our story

A moment when we come together to elevate.

Pause Awards was born from a moment of reflection—a pause—to recognise and celebrate the innovative spirit that drives us forward. It symbolises a time when we come together to share ideas, knowledge and advance ourselves, fostering an elevated sense of community support. Our awards are a testament to this spirit, championing the achievements that shape our future.

Winners from Pause Awards Night '23

Past winners

“It’s super-high energy, snappy networking and I loved Dancing-Walks.”
Tom McKerrow
Business Development, Upstock
“Winning the ‘Company of Year’ award really put us on the map and was very unexpected!”
David McLaughlin
CTO, BODD
“Entrepreneurship is all about the community. Otherwise it can be a very isolated experience. So being part of the ecosystem is everything.”
Jirra Harvey
Founder, Kalinya
“Pause is the community of amazing innovators, and we are thrilled to be recognised for the third year running.”
Matt Vitale
Co-Founder, Birchal
“Being able to network with entrepreneurs, founders, learn and be part of that ecosystem has been fantastic for us.”
Dean Cherny GAICD
Founder & MD, SocialQ
1 / 6

How we differ


  • Community Champions Platform

    Celebrating the interconnectedness and innovative drive of local entrepreneurs and leaders within the community.


  • Breakthrough Spotlight

    Honouring significant breakthroughs that showcase the power of innovation beyond mere financial success.


  • Rigorous, Independent Judging

    Our two-tiered evaluation process, led by a panel of esteemed judges, ensures that only the most deserving innovations are celebrated. This rigorous scrutiny underlines our commitment to meritocracy and integrity.


  • Celebrating Creativity and Impact

    We believe in the power of innovation beyond financial metrics. Our awards recognise the creative spirit, the courage to innovate, and the impact of your work, regardless of your organisation’s size and turnover.


  • Selective–Winner™ Recognition

    The Pause Awards uphold their prestige by awarding only the entries that surpass their high standards, ensuring exclusivity and true meritocracy in recognition.


  • Designer Trophy™ — A Symbol of Excellence

    Our designer trophies are not mere objects; they are symbols of innovation excellence, hand-crafted to commemorate your achievements and inspire continuous innovation.


  • Ambitious Innovators Feature on Pause Index

    Winners get a beautifully designed company page on Pause Awards website indexing their commitment to excellence and innovation and providing them a valuable back-linking.


  • Investable Score™ Certificate

    This innovative concept involves judges placing virtual bets on entries, signalling the entrants’ potential and promise.


  • Pause NomiGPT™ — Smart Chatbot Helper

    Debuting in 2024, Nomi will streamline the entry process, aiding entrants with submission drafting and category selection, marking a new era of accessibility for the Pause Awards.


  • Growth Mentors Board

    A board of seasoned experts offers top winners exclusive mentorship, unlocking unparalleled opportunities for growth and valuable networking.


  • Walking–Dance™ Ritual

    The awards night is further enlivened by a unique celebratory ritual, augmenting the excitement and significance of the winners’ revelation.


Values and principles

Our foundation lies in rigour, integrity and a community spirit, fostering an environment where creativity and impact are cherished. We celebrate every innovation story, from the emerging disruptor to the established visionary.

We believe the below principles are the foundation for building an authentic community.


  • Welcome warmly

    Embrace every interaction with genuine care, making introductions and forging connections that turn moments into memories.


  • Cherish serendipity

    Value the beauty of the unexpected, where the most impactful discoveries often lie.


  • Take it easy

    Approach our shared mission with a blend of earnestness and ease, inviting a fresh perspective.


  • Be genuine

    Beyond the accolades, it’s the deep, personal connections that truly define us.


  • Elevate everyone

    Celebrate every voice, from the bold innovator to the seasoned leader, in our collective pursuit of greatness.


  • Follow wisdom

    Embark on a journey of learning and sharing, enriching our community with every story and insight.


  • Destination is the journey

    Let the thrill of innovation and the spirit of play coexist, reminding us why we dare to dream big.


Join the legacy

Pause Awards is more than a competition; it’s a community where your most ambitious achievements are recognised and celebrated. We invite you to share your breakthroughs and become a part of a movement that values the power of coming together.

Dom Pym, UP
'C-Suite' winner Dom Pym, Co-founder of UP at Awards Night 2021

Past partners


See who won in 2023


Read more

Category tracks



The Culture track seeks entries that exemplify the development of an inclusive and collaborative workplace culture, crucial for organisational success and growth. Submissions should illustrate transformative strategies implemented across core business functions, reflecting expertise, leadership, and a clear vision. These strategies should demonstrate a positive impact on the business, its employees, stakeholders, and customers, showcasing how a nurturing culture contributes to overall growth and innovation.

The Excellence track celebrates businesses that have demonstrated remarkable success and impact within their industry, regardless of their size. Entries for this category should illustrate how the business's strategic execution, guided by visionary leadership and exceptional expertise, has significantly influenced the industry. The focus will be on the tangible outcomes of these strategies, highlighting the company's ability to innovate, lead, and leave a lasting impression in its field.

The Good track is focused on recognising companies dedicated to their mission of creating a positive societal impact. Entries should highlight innovative solutions aimed at addressing global challenges such as environmental sustainability, social equity, and community well-being. Successful submissions will demonstrate how their initiatives contribute to significant changes, tackling issues like gender inequality, social imbalance, and injustice, thereby setting a precedent for responsible and impactful business practices.

Awarded to a single entry in a category, Grand Prix is the top accolade in that category. To win the Grand Prix, the entire Judging Board must unanimously agree that the entry deserves the accolade of being the best in that category.

The Growth track is about showcasing how businesses have enhanced productivity and execution to make a significant impact in their market. Entries should highlight innovative strategies that have optimised the customer journey, leading to increased engagement and commercial success. This track is for those who have effectively used their understanding of the market and customer needs to scale their business and achieve notable growth.

The Operators track seeks entries that showcase leadership in fostering innovation within their ecosystems. Ideal submissions will highlight how your initiatives have catalysed the creation of new products or services, bolstered by a culture that uplifts internal teams and the wider community. This track celebrates those who drive progress by empowering voices and forging transformative connections in their industry.


Categories


  • Always Evolving New

    Acknowledges a culture of continuous learning and improvement within a company, encourages employee development, and always looks for ways to optimise and innovate operations.


  • Big & Mighty Culture New

    Recognises companies (51-1000 employees) for their exceptional efforts in cultivating a culture that champions innovation.


  • Diverse Co.

    Celebrates workplaces dedicated to fostering innovation through a vibrant tapestry of diverse talents and perspectives.


  • Small & Mighty Culture New

    Applauds small teams of fewer than 50 employees for their remarkable ability to foster innovation and set new benchmarks in their domain.


  • Work Sweet Work

    Acknowledges companies that have achieved extraordinary employee engagement, satisfaction, and retention, creating an exemplary workplace culture.


  • Company of the Year

    Honours an outstanding company that not only showcases exemplary leadership and resilience but also demonstrates a clear, quantifiable impact over the past year.


  • Customer Obsessed New

    Applauds prioritisation, understanding and meeting the needs and expectations of their customers, including feedback, personalised services and ensuring high satisfaction.


  • Defiant Ones

    Recognises firms that lead technological innovation, setting new standards and defining the future of their industries.


  • Hammer

    Celebrates companies that have not only defined success on their own terms but have also concretely demonstrated their triumphs over the past year.


  • I Wish I'd Done That

    Applauds ingenious, simple solutions in niche markets that spark a universal sentiment of admiration.


  • On the Rise

    Celebrates early-stage startups, under 4 years, that have shown remarkable progress and success in their initial years.


  • Prodigy

    Recognises young visionaries under 30 with outstanding talents and achievements, setting them apart in their fields.


  • Singularity

    Highlights AI-driven companies that are pioneering new services or integrating AI to create innovative products.


  • Women in Business

    Celebrates female entrepreneurs and leaders who are forging paths for future generations by creating more equitable opportunities.


  • B-Good

    Recognises businesses that redefine commercial success by positively transforming our economic system for the benefit of all stakeholders.


  • Circular Pioneer

    Celebrates companies at the forefront of circular economy practices, making substantial and sustainable differences.


  • Ethical Leadership New

    Commends companies exemplifying leadership in environmental and social governance, setting standards in corporate responsibility and ethical practices.


  • Going Green

    Acknowledges companies leading large-scale sustainable initiatives, addressing critical areas like clean energy and environmental justice.


  • Collab New

    Honours strategic partnerships and alliances with other businesses to leverage complementary strengths, access new markets, and share resources for synergistic growth and innovation.


  • Design First

    Celebrates companies where design is the heartbeat of innovation, engaging the whole team in crafting groundbreaking products.


  • Going Global New

    Applauds companies that have expanded their reach globally, showcasing exceptional growth and international success.


  • Great Pivot

    Acknowledges companies that adeptly navigate change, leveraging insights to pivot towards delivering outstanding products.


  • Movement

    Recognises unforgettable event experiences that resonate emotionally, drive social change, or achieve viral status.


  • New Model

    Honours businesses revolutionising markets with elegant and disruptive business models.


  • Next Level New

    Applauds companies which had successful strategic acquisition and integration of another entity, staff or an asset that allowed them to further grow and scale their services.


  • Wildfire

    Celebrates companies that have rapidly and significantly impacted their marketplace, online and offline, setting new standards for success.


  • Angel

    Honours visionary angel investors who've significantly contributed to early-stage startups, guiding them toward success.


  • C-Suite

    Recognises exceptional leadership qualities in high-ranking executives, showcasing their management and interpersonal excellence.


  • Creative Maverick New

    Honours unconventional thinkers with exceptional abilities to execute typically unimaginable initiatives, expertly coordinate teams, secure funding or successfully launch multiple ventures.


  • Ecosystem Star

    Celebrates individuals who energise and nurture their communities, fostering engagement and advocacy.


  • Future Builder

    Recognises the determination and resilience of founders who've embarked on the challenging journey of starting their own ventures.


  • Quiet Achiever New

    Applauds the unsung heroes whose behind-the-scenes efforts have led to flawless project executions and exceeded expectations.


  • Splash Down Under New

    Acknowledges international companies making a noteworthy entrance into the Australian market, enriching the local business ecosystem.


  • TopCoder

    Recognises developers for their outstanding technical skills, clean code, and collaborative spirit.


  • Venture Cap

    Salutes venture capital firms with a track record of backing transformative businesses, contributing significantly to Australia's economic growth.


  • Visionary New

    Recognises effective leadership by setting a clear vision, motivating the team, and making strategic decisions that guide their business towards its goals.

Category tracks



The Culture track seeks entries that exemplify the development of an inclusive and collaborative workplace culture, crucial for organisational success and growth. Submissions should illustrate transformative strategies implemented across core business functions, reflecting expertise, leadership, and a clear vision. These strategies should demonstrate a positive impact on the business, its employees, stakeholders, and customers, showcasing how a nurturing culture contributes to overall growth and innovation.

The Excellence track celebrates businesses that have demonstrated remarkable success and impact within their industry, regardless of their size. Entries for this category should illustrate how the business's strategic execution, guided by visionary leadership and exceptional expertise, has significantly influenced the industry. The focus will be on the tangible outcomes of these strategies, highlighting the company's ability to innovate, lead, and leave a lasting impression in its field.

The Good track is focused on recognising companies dedicated to their mission of creating a positive societal impact. Entries should highlight innovative solutions aimed at addressing global challenges such as environmental sustainability, social equity, and community well-being. Successful submissions will demonstrate how their initiatives contribute to significant changes, tackling issues like gender inequality, social imbalance, and injustice, thereby setting a precedent for responsible and impactful business practices.

Awarded to a single entry in a category, Grand Prix is the top accolade in that category. To win the Grand Prix, the entire Judging Board must unanimously agree that the entry deserves the accolade of being the best in that category.

The Growth track is about showcasing how businesses have enhanced productivity and execution to make a significant impact in their market. Entries should highlight innovative strategies that have optimised the customer journey, leading to increased engagement and commercial success. This track is for those who have effectively used their understanding of the market and customer needs to scale their business and achieve notable growth.

The Operators track seeks entries that showcase leadership in fostering innovation within their ecosystems. Ideal submissions will highlight how your initiatives have catalysed the creation of new products or services, bolstered by a culture that uplifts internal teams and the wider community. This track celebrates those who drive progress by empowering voices and forging transformative connections in their industry.


Categories


  • Always Evolving New

    Acknowledges a culture of continuous learning and improvement within a company, encourages employee development, and always looks for ways to optimise and innovate operations.


  • Big & Mighty Culture New

    Recognises companies (51-1000 employees) for their exceptional efforts in cultivating a culture that champions innovation.


  • Diverse Co.

    Celebrates workplaces dedicated to fostering innovation through a vibrant tapestry of diverse talents and perspectives.


  • Small & Mighty Culture New

    Applauds small teams of fewer than 50 employees for their remarkable ability to foster innovation and set new benchmarks in their domain.


  • Work Sweet Work

    Acknowledges companies that have achieved extraordinary employee engagement, satisfaction, and retention, creating an exemplary workplace culture.


  • Company of the Year

    Honours an outstanding company that not only showcases exemplary leadership and resilience but also demonstrates a clear, quantifiable impact over the past year.


  • Customer Obsessed New

    Applauds prioritisation, understanding and meeting the needs and expectations of their customers, including feedback, personalised services and ensuring high satisfaction.


  • Defiant Ones

    Recognises firms that lead technological innovation, setting new standards and defining the future of their industries.


  • Hammer

    Celebrates companies that have not only defined success on their own terms but have also concretely demonstrated their triumphs over the past year.


  • I Wish I'd Done That

    Applauds ingenious, simple solutions in niche markets that spark a universal sentiment of admiration.


  • On the Rise

    Celebrates early-stage startups, under 4 years, that have shown remarkable progress and success in their initial years.


  • Prodigy

    Recognises young visionaries under 30 with outstanding talents and achievements, setting them apart in their fields.


  • Singularity

    Highlights AI-driven companies that are pioneering new services or integrating AI to create innovative products.


  • Women in Business

    Celebrates female entrepreneurs and leaders who are forging paths for future generations by creating more equitable opportunities.


  • B-Good

    Recognises businesses that redefine commercial success by positively transforming our economic system for the benefit of all stakeholders.


  • Circular Pioneer

    Celebrates companies at the forefront of circular economy practices, making substantial and sustainable differences.


  • Ethical Leadership New

    Commends companies exemplifying leadership in environmental and social governance, setting standards in corporate responsibility and ethical practices.


  • Going Green

    Acknowledges companies leading large-scale sustainable initiatives, addressing critical areas like clean energy and environmental justice.


  • Collab New

    Honours strategic partnerships and alliances with other businesses to leverage complementary strengths, access new markets, and share resources for synergistic growth and innovation.


  • Design First

    Celebrates companies where design is the heartbeat of innovation, engaging the whole team in crafting groundbreaking products.


  • Going Global New

    Applauds companies that have expanded their reach globally, showcasing exceptional growth and international success.


  • Great Pivot

    Acknowledges companies that adeptly navigate change, leveraging insights to pivot towards delivering outstanding products.


  • Movement

    Recognises unforgettable event experiences that resonate emotionally, drive social change, or achieve viral status.


  • New Model

    Honours businesses revolutionising markets with elegant and disruptive business models.


  • Next Level New

    Applauds companies which had successful strategic acquisition and integration of another entity, staff or an asset that allowed them to further grow and scale their services.


  • Wildfire

    Celebrates companies that have rapidly and significantly impacted their marketplace, online and offline, setting new standards for success.


  • Angel

    Honours visionary angel investors who've significantly contributed to early-stage startups, guiding them toward success.


  • C-Suite

    Recognises exceptional leadership qualities in high-ranking executives, showcasing their management and interpersonal excellence.


  • Creative Maverick New

    Honours unconventional thinkers with exceptional abilities to execute typically unimaginable initiatives, expertly coordinate teams, secure funding or successfully launch multiple ventures.


  • Ecosystem Star

    Celebrates individuals who energise and nurture their communities, fostering engagement and advocacy.


  • Future Builder

    Recognises the determination and resilience of founders who've embarked on the challenging journey of starting their own ventures.


  • Quiet Achiever New

    Applauds the unsung heroes whose behind-the-scenes efforts have led to flawless project executions and exceeded expectations.


  • Splash Down Under New

    Acknowledges international companies making a noteworthy entrance into the Australian market, enriching the local business ecosystem.


  • TopCoder

    Recognises developers for their outstanding technical skills, clean code, and collaborative spirit.


  • Venture Cap

    Salutes venture capital firms with a track record of backing transformative businesses, contributing significantly to Australia's economic growth.


  • Visionary New

    Recognises effective leadership by setting a clear vision, motivating the team, and making strategic decisions that guide their business towards its goals.

Early Entries end on:
00d : 00h : 00m : 00s
Enter now