Pause Awards are judged by various industry experts from Australia and overseas who are called in each year to participate. You can also apply easily online to become a judge.

The Judging Board consists of five members including the Chair that come from diverse backgrounds, bringing in individual perspective and expert knowledge in the final evaluation of the process.

Meet the panel

Adam Mortimer | Pause Awards Judges

Adam Mortimer

Spaces Interactive
Albert Mai | Pause Awards Judges

Albert Mai

Simply Wall St
Andrew Farrell | Pause Awards Judges

Andrew Farrell

Andy Rosic, Metaplex

Andy Rosic

Metaplex Studios
Annette Densham

Annette Densham

The Audacious Agency
Antonia Grimard | Pause Awards Judges

Antonia Grimard

AOK Creative
Ashleigh Gardiner | Pause Awards Judges

Ashleigh Gardiner

My Muscle Chef
Ben Bars, We are unity, Ceo

Ben Bars

We Are Unity
Ben Ford, Frollo, Head of Growth, Fintech

Ben Ford

Ben Peterson | Pause Awards Judges

Ben Peterson

Bryan Williams

Bryan Williams

Hockey Stick Advisory
Callum Fitzhardinge | Pause Awards Judges

Callum Fitzhardinge

Carolyn Breeze | Pause Awards Judge

Carolyn Breeze

Cass Mackenzie | Pause Awards Judge

Cass Mackenzie

Chloe Leclerc, Fleet Space Technologies

Chloe Leclerc

Fleet Space Technologies
Chris Jeffares | Pause Awards Judge

Chris Jeffares

Christina Gerakiteys | Pause Awards Judge

Christina Gerakiteys

Daniel Sparkes | Pause Awards Judge

Daniel Sparkes

Davy Rennie | Pause Awards Judges

Davy Rennie

Tribal DDB
Gilbert Guaring, Pause Awards Judge

Gilbert Guaring

Urban Art Projects
Harini Janakiraman | Pause Awards Judge

Harini Janakiraman

Irene Lemon | Pause Awards Judges

Irene Lemon

Irene Lemon

Irfan Malik

INQ Innovation Global
Jacs Fisher | Pause Awards Judges

Jacqui Fisher

By Jacs
Jake Booker, Director, Antler

Jake Booker

James Stewart | Pause Awards Judge

James Stewart

Loyal VC
Jason Perelson | Pause Awards Judges

Jason Perelson

Creative Director
Jessica Williams, Google

Jessica Williams

Joel Connolly | Pause Awards Judges

Joel Connolly

Josh Howard | Pause Awards Judge

Josh Howard

Single Use Ain’t Sexy
Juan Ciapessoni | Pause Awards Judges

Juan Ciapessoni

The Electric Factory
Jules Brooke | Pause Awards Judges

Jules Brooke

She’s The Boss and Handle Your Own PR
Julie Demsey | Pause Awards Judges

Julie Demsey

Julie Demsey Hypnotherapy & Coaching
Julie Stevanja, Co-Founder, Her Black Book

Julie Stevanja

Her Black Book
Lalitha Wemel | Pause Awards Judges

Lalitha Wemel

Laurent Marcus | Pause Awards Judges

Laurent Marcus

Special Group
Lee Tonitto | Pause Awards Judges

Lee Tonitto

Tonitto and Partners
Lucy Lin | Pause Awards Judges

Lucy Lin

Makenzie Thomas | Pause Awards Judge

Makenzie Thomas

MedTech Actuator
Mark Davis, Today, Director

Mark Davis

Nathaniel Diong | Pause Awards Judges

Nathaniel Diong

Future Minds Network
Nick Hoskin, Pause Awards Judge

Nick Hoskin

Nicole Scherer | Pause Awards Judge

Nicole Scherer

Nicole Tj | Pause Awards Judges

Nicole Tj

Paola Rocchetti | Pause Awards Judge

Paola Rocchetti

Void N’ Disorder
Penelope Barr | Pause Awards Judges

Penelope Barr

Peter Bakker | Pause Awards Judges

Peter Bakker

Peter Brennan, Heaps Norman and Analogue Digital

Peter Brennan

Heaps Normal
Phil Ore | Pause Awards Judges

Phil Ore

Rupert de Paula | Pause Awards Judge

Rupert de Paula

Sali Sasi, Co-founder, Her Black Book

Sali Sasi

Her Black Book
Sarah Gross | Pause Awards Judges

Sarah Gross

Shamila Gopalan, HewWit co-founder

Shamila Gopalan

Shelin David | Pause Awards Judge

Shelin David

Sonia Clarke, Pause Awards judge

Sonia Clarke

Stephen Foxworthy | Pause Awards Judges

Stephen Foxworthy

Accenture Song
Steve Coochin | Pause Awards Judges

Steve Coochin

Stuart Reynolds | Pause Awards Judges

Stuart Reynolds

Stuart Richardson, Adventure Capital, Managing Director

Stuart Richardson

Adventure Capital
Taylor Tran | Pause Awards Judges

Taylor Tran

i4 Connect
Tipu Sultan | Pause Awards Judge

Tipu Sultan

Clipboard Hospitality Pty LTD

Tom Leyden

Vanessa Doake | Pause Awards Judges

Vanessa Doake

Art Processors
Vanessa Ronan-Pearce, Judge at pause Awards, New Zealand

Vanessa Ronan-Pearce

Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, University of Auckland
Vanessa Toholka | Pause Awards Judges

Vanessa Toholka



“If you’re a growing, successful business then you’re already doing things well. We need more celebration and press for the folks who are deep in the mix, who are doing the good work, who are showing up. They need to be cheered on to keep bringing us all forward!”
Andy Rosic
VP of Product, 
5th Kind
“This type of award holds up a beacon for others, a lighthouse for organisations to learn, share and grow the work of creating impact and it’s possibilities for everyone in our community.”
Melanie Rayment
Director, Social Innovation Consulting, The Australian Centre for Social Innovation
“I want to know how entrants have gracefully solved customer problems with technical solutions that scale. How have they applied deep thinking and meticulous product build to create something that feels easy, helpful and delightful?”
Will Hayward
CEO/Board member, Private Media
“I’m excited to see which of the entrants have had the most creative/unexpected pivot of their business model in light of the pandemic.”
Dave Scheine
Managing Director, Australia, Podium
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Why judge

Pause Awards 2022 will be judged by leading international experts from social good and tech worlds.

We’re looking for experienced professionals that are interested in evaluating from emerging to established businesses based on their yearly performance in five tracks: Growth, Excellence, Operations, Good and the Culture. Being invited to judge Pause Awards is an honour to contribute to the innovation community and a great opportunity to engage with other fellow judges and winners.

In 2022, we are building a completely new judging portal app from scratch (too crazy, right), based on the learnings from past years and your feedback. The judging experience, ease of use and beautiful design will win you over and make this a seamless experience. In addition to that the new software will do all the heavy lifting like: speed up the process, deliver allocation efficiencies, show what’s undone and present you with important stats in the dashboard. 

We hope all this new tech will make you signup and stick around for years.

Benefits of judging:

  • Build your public profile and authority
  • Access the insights from the best in business
  • Give back to the innovation community 
  • Get featured on Pause Awards news page
  • Be inspired by the vibrant businesses
  • Network like a pro at the Awards Night event
  • Write your opinion pieces in our newsroom

Apply to be a judge

Apply now

Category tracks

Creating a safe and open space in which everyone thrives and the collaboration flows through all levels and titles with the power of the one team. The entries should demonstrate how the transformation has been achieved across core business functions, that have delivered a positive impact and growth for business, staff, stakeholders and customers. Judges will only refer to written entries during the evaluation process. No additional research will be undertaken, and for this reason, we recommend you give detailed and sharp answers.

Celebrating commercial effectiveness through success in the marketplace by leaving a dent in the universe, no matter what the size of the company. The entries should demonstrate the highest levels of expertise, leadership and vision in the application of their business strategies. Judges will only refer to written entries during the evaluation process. No additional research will be undertaken, and for this reason, we recommend you give detailed and sharp answers.

Standing up for your purpose and going beyond together as a team aligned on the single mission to positively impact the environment, people and community. The entries should demonstrate ideas intended to change the world; work which sets out to positively impact ingrained gender inequality, social imbalance or injustice. Judges will only refer to written entries during the evaluation process. No additional research will be undertaken, and for this reason, we recommend you give detailed and sharp answers.

Only awarded to a single entry in each category track, Grand Prix is the highest accolade in Pause Awards. To win the Grand Prix, the entire Judging Board must unanimously agree that the entry deserves the accolade of being the best in class.

​​Focusing on the productivity and elegance of execution to deliver impactful ideas to a market (or many) with the power to cut through the noise. Entries should demonstrate how the innovation and optimisation of the customer journey led to scaled consumer engagement and commercial success. Judges will only refer to written entries during the evaluation process. No additional research will be undertaken, and for this reason, we recommend you give detailed and sharp answers.

Elevating every voice in the ecosystem is not just important for its collective success, industry development but also for the future growth. The entries should demonstrate ingenuity which leads to the creation of new products and services, through leadership, by elevating the internal culture and communities they serve. Judges will only refer to written entries during the evaluation process. No additional research will be undertaken, and for this reason, we recommend you give detailed and sharp answers.


  • Diverse Co.

    For nurturing an inclusive environment. This award recognises a workplace that has successfully and intentionally encouraged innovation among diverse employees.

  • Large team culture

    For fostering innovation. This award recognises a workplace with over 1000+ employees that has outpaced their cohort in fostering a culture of innovation.

  • Medium team culture

    For fostering innovation. This award recognises a workplace with 21-999 employees that has outpaced their cohort in fostering a culture of innovation.

  • Small team culture

    For fostering innovation. This award recognises a workplace with less than 20 employees that has outpaced their cohort in fostering a culture of innovation

  • Work sweet work

    For a great workplace culture. This award recognises a company that has managed to improve or attain outstanding levels of employee engagement, retention and satisfaction.

  • Company of the Year

    For the best company. This award recognises a company leadership, success, ambition to excel against all odds with the solid future development plans.

  • Defiant ones

    For new tech breakthroughs. This award recognises a company that defines the future of the industry they play in.

  • Hall of fame

    For a lifetime achievement. This award recognises a game-changer who paved the way by breaking new grounds and inventing new categories.

  • Hammer

    For nailing it. This award recognises a company's success – on their own terms – in the market.

  • I wish I'd done that

    For sheer brilliance. This award recognises a company's simple and clever idea in a niche market.

  • Indi

    For new and First Peoples. This award recognises a successful company with its founders from indigenous or ethnic heritage that gained success in the market.

  • On the rise

    For early stage mavericks. This award recognises an early stage startup that has done well in its first three years.

  • Prodigy

    For being exceptional. This award recognises a young person with exceptional qualities or abilities.

  • Women in business

    For breaking the mould. This award recognises a successful female leader and entrepreneur who is paving the way forward for the future generations.

  • B-Good

    For a good business. This award recognises a company that has done well to change our economic system to positively impact all stakeholders through their commercial practice.

  • Circular Pioneer

    For making a difference. This award category recognises a company that is pioneering their circular efforts.

  • Going green

    For delivering impact at scale. This award recognises a company that is actively leading and delivering impact and scale through sustainable efforts in clean energy, climate change, healthy environment, social and economic justice etc.

  • You've got ethics

    For the leadership in environmental social governance. This award category recognises a company that is promoting accountability, good governance, leadership in Corporate Social Responsibility and solving societal problems.

  • Design first

    For design lead products. This award recognises a company that is using design to drive product innovation with the entire company onboard.

  • Inception

    For visionary thinkers. This award recognises a person that came up with the transformative idea that can change the world for better.

  • Out of the garage

    For scaling globally. This award recognises a company's global growth, expansion, and success.

  • Unexpected twist

    For a great pivot. This award recognises a company that has taken an unexpected pivot in their business or career.

  • Wildfire

    For conquering a marketplace. This award recognises a company that has made a significant impact on the marketplace in the shortest amount of time.

  • Backbone

    For backing the future idea. This award recognises a VC firm with a portfolio of companies that have made a significant contribution to the growth and success of the AU economy.

  • Brave Angel

    For early stage support. This award recognises an angel investor that has garnered a portfolio of companies and has a good track record of helping founders succeed.

  • C-Suite

    For the best leadership. This award recognises the highest-ranking executive that has impeccable leadership, management and interpersonal skills.

  • Do you know who I am

    For the silent achiever. This award recognises a person that has been responsible for the success of their company from the backstage.

  • Future builder

    For grit to start a new venture. This award recognises a founder at any level and life stage who has decided to start jumping the hoops of their own business.

  • Hottest hub

    For the best community. This award recognises a co-working space that provides boutique experience, world class facilities with community management.

  • Launch pad

    For activating the support systems. This award recognises an accelerator that has a good reputation in providing the best startup program with industry connections.

  • Super connector

    For being the community champ. This award recognises a person for a significant contribution to the success of their clients or the community.

Pause Awards '23 is launching on 17 May
00d : 00h : 00m : 00s
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