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How to enter


Pause Awards 2024 are open to enter now.

Have you done something that helped your business score and leap forward?

We want to know about it! We love clever ideas, no matter the size, that spark something bigger and have an impact.

Let Pause Awards tell your story. Together, we break through.


Entering process

  1. Enter into one or more categories
    Submit your application in the relevant award categories, showcasing your achievements and innovation to be considered.
  2. We approve your entry
    Our team reviews your submission for eligibility and completeness before it progresses to the judging phase.
  3. Judging and Public Voting starts
    An expert panel and public voters assess and deliberate on the entries across two rounds to ensure a fair and comprehensive evaluation.
  4. Voting ends, finalists announced
    Following the closure of voting, the highest-scoring entrants are shortlisted and announced as finalists in each category.
  5. Tickets to Awards Night & Afterparty
    Secure your spot at the prestigious Awards Night ceremony where industry leaders and innovators gather.
  6. Awards Night, winners announced
    A celebratory evening where the winners of each category are revealed and honoured for their contributions.
  7. Trophy ordering and shipping
    Winners can order the hand-made Pause Awards trophy, which will be shipped directly to them as a symbol of their accomplishment.

Important dates

Pay anytime but must submit final entry by 30 August.

If payment is not received by the deadline, the cost of entries will change and increase. It is important to keep track of fee deadlines for registered categories to avoid any additional charges. You can edit your submission post payment until final deadline on 30 August.


2024 Entry Dates

Enter before below dates to catch the best rates.

Entries Open
Wednesday 15 May 2024

Launch Entries Deadline
Friday 24 May 2024

Early Entries Deadline
Friday 14 June 2024

Standard Entries Deadline
Friday 16 August 2024

Late Entries Deadline
Friday 30 August 2024


Public Voting

Public Voting Opens
Monday 16 September 2024

Public Voting Deadline
Friday 18 October 2024


Judging

1st Round Judging
Monday 16 September 2024

2nd Round Judging
Monday 7 October 2024


Announcements

Finalist Notification
Monday 21 October 2024

Tickets for Pause Awards Night 
Monday 21 October 2024

Pause Awards Night
Monday 2 December 2024

Winners are announced on Pause Awards Night.



Judging process

The Pause Awards judging process is outlined as follows:

  1. We approve your entry: The team reviews submissions for eligibility and completeness.
  2. 1st Round Judging: Entries are assessed by judges with relevant expertise.
  3. 2nd Round Judging: Finalists are discussed in an open session by the Judging Board.
  4. Public Vote: The public participates in voting for their preferred entries.
  5. Special Awards: Decisions for top performers like the Grand Prix, Hall of Fame, Champion and Diamond Award require unanimous agreement from the Judging Board.

Judging criteria

20%
Smart Tactics
Evaluates the innovation in your operational strategies and solutions.
30%
Business Success
Assesses the tangible outcomes your initiatives have achieved.
40%
Positive Impact
Looks at the reception of your initiative by people and its broader market impact.
10%
Investable Score™
Gauges your company’s potential for investment on a scale from zero to $10M.

In addition to core judging criteria please note the additional aspects at Pause Awards as they do differ from others you may have entered in the past.


  • What is a breakthrough?

    At the Pause Awards, we define a breakthrough as any moment when you discover a better, more effective way to operate.

    It’s about those clever, often simple ideas that spark significant change and create lasting impact. It’s the leap forward that every business strives for – from enhancing efficiency, boosting customer satisfaction, or even transforming your entire business model.

    Don’t be intimidated by the term ‘breakthrough’ — it’s about the impact of your strategy, not the scale of your innovation.


  • Selective-Winner™ Recognition

    Ensures that only entries that exceed our high standards receive recognition, maintaining the exclusivity and meritocracy of our awards. Judges have the freedom to assign as many finalists or winners as they see fit per category. However, entries that do not meet the judging criteria or provide sufficient information may not receive an award in that category.


  • The Investable Score™

    Is not a financial valuation, but rather an indication of whether industry professionals are compelled to invest after evaluating an entry. Scores range from zero to 10 points represented in millions of dollars and are presented as a printed certificate in the Winner Pack, along with a trophy.


  • Public Voting

    Is a highly competitive and popular aspect of our awards program, and we eagerly anticipate the results. Approved entries automatically qualify for Public Vote, with only the elevator pitch being visible to the public. Rest assured, no sensitive business information will ever be disclosed. Remember, only one winner will be chosen from the Public Voting category, so bring your A-game and aim to dominate!


Entry fees

Fees are set by submission deadlines.

Enter early to get the best prices.


Friday 24 May 2024 — Launch Entry

$295 +gst per entry


Friday 14 June 2024 — Early Entry

$395 +gst per entry


Friday 16 August 2024 — Standard Entry

$445 +gst per entry


Friday 30 August 2024 — Late Entry

$495 +gst per entry


You have the option to register for free on signup or pay later, as well as pay by invoice. To secure the early rate fee, payment must be made within the submission deadlines for your entry to be accepted into the competition.

Please be aware that entry fees are non-refundable, so we recommend carefully considering your decision before proceeding with payment.


Entry bundles and deals

30% Off for Judges and Alumni
Exclusive discount for our esteemed judges and valued Alumni. Contact us.

21.7% Off for Female-Led Companies
Supporting diversity with special discounts for female leadership. Contact us.

Helping Hand
Facing financial challenges? Email us to discuss a personalised offer.

1 Free
For 3 entries
Entry bundle
2 Free
For 5 entries
Entry bundle
3 Free
For 10 entries
Entry bundle

Designer Trophy™ Offer
Buy a second trophy for $450 +gst, and receive the third one free.


Eligibility and criteria


  • Check your eligibility

    1. Open to Australian individuals and companies.
    2. International companies are eligible to enter only ‘Down under’ category.
    3. Eligible projects must occur between 1 January 2023 and 15 May 2024.
    4. Only projects with results should enter; those in development are ineligible.
    5. Submissions must have been implemented in the marketplace.
    6. National companies may submit multiple projects.
    7. Entries from partners and sponsors are accepted without bias.
    8. Judges to avoid voting for their own company to maintain fairness.
    9. Limit of one judge per company.
    10. Government entities, NGOs, and agencies are encouraged to participate.
    11. All fees are in AUD and are non-refundable.
    12. The awards are open to all industries.

  • Review Pause Awards criteria

    1. Entries should highlight achievements between 1 July 2022 and 1 June 2023. 
    2. Entries Open on Wednesday 15 May 2024, Launch Entries Deadline is on Friday 24 May 2024, Early Entries Deadline is on Friday 14 June 2024, Standard Entries Deadline is on Friday 16 August 2024, Late Entries Deadline is on Friday 30 Aug 2024.
    3. Entry fees vary from $295 for Early Entry to $495 for Late Entry. 
    4. Judges will base their decisions solely on written entries without conducting additional research.
    5. Entrants have the option to submit entries in multiple categories using the same or different projects. 
    6. Individual entrants must have been employed for at least one year prior to entering and should use their personal name, not their company’s name. 
    7. If utilising ChatGPT or Pause NomiGPT™ for entry writing, please focus on providing detailed information and specific results rather than well-crafted applications.
    8. If nominating an individual or company, entrants must enter on their behalf and provide all necessary information for website profile creation and promotion. 
    9. For individual entries, kindly provide a personal biography and relevant personal information, not company-related details.
    10. There is no set number of winners per category. It could be 20 or none depending on the average winner threshold score for the year.
    11. The People’s Choice Award will involve all entrants in public vote, but only one will win. 
    12. All sections of the entry questions must be completed for judging purposes; incomplete entries will be disqualified.
    13. There is no extra cost for special award categories such as Grand Prix, Champion, Diamond and Hall of Fame. You get internally nominated and elevated.
    14. Website profile setting questions and photos must be submitted for all finalist and before the Pause Awards Night. 
    15. If you anticipate being away when ordering trophies, please inform us to ensure timely delivery or make alternative arrangements. 
    16. If the trophy is sent to a wrong address you will need to order and pay for a new one. 
    17. You don’t have to attend Pause Awards Night, but we expect you will bring the entire company, clients, family and friends to it.

Privacy & Security: Your application and business data are confidential, used internally and never disclosed publicly.

Payment: Finalise your entry with payment to secure participation and benefit from early rates and multiple category discounts.

Entry Submission: Post-payment, you’re free to revise your entry until the deadline. Utilise the ‘Copy from application’ feature for efficiency across categories.

Terms and Conditions: For detailed rules and guidelines, visit the official website’s T&C section.

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