Meet the Judging Board 2021

13 May, 2021
Meet the Judging Board 2021 | News | Pause Awards
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Ann Nounce
13 May, 2021

The 2021 Pause Awards judging board is a stellar lineup. You can check the complete list of judges, but here are the five to know.

Lee Tonitto, Managing Director at Tonitto and Partners

Lee is inspired by working with passionate people who share a commitment to achieving results with a focus on values, ethics, and ESG concerns reconciled with commercial goals. She has successfully held C-suite and director-level roles over the past 20 years, spanning Australia and New Zealand and representing major brands such as Unilever, Revlon, AMP and the Commonwealth Bank’s Count Financial.

A specialist in identifying and solving complex enterprise-wide business issues, Lee is a transformation catalyst. Her significant capability includes strategy, brand, marketing, distribution, operational performance improvement, coaching, mentoring and business transformation.

Ben Ford, Head of Growth at Frollo

Before joining Frollo, Ben spent three years with Yodlee, where he established the APAC headquarters in Sydney and enjoyed a stint at illion Open Data Solutions (formerly Proviso).

A fierce advocate and supporter of the Fintech community, Ben has spent time as an advisor and mentor at Antler, the Yodlee Incubator in Silicon Valley, Startup Bootcamp, and Inspiring Rare Birds, as well as at various individual startups. He is also the Fintech Editor for IdeaSpies.

Before entering the Fintech world, Ben spent ten years in product management and sales with Equifax (UK) and Dun & Bradstreet (Australia).

Christina Gerakiteys, Co-CEO at SingularityU Australia

Christina is a sought-after speaker, facilitator, and program designer, creating interactive educational experiences driven by design thinking, purpose, engagement, and play.

Christina is on a mission to educate, empower and inspire leaders to converge transformational technologies to impact and solve humanity’s grand challenges. She has worked with Deloitte, IAG, Employment Hero and Entrepreneurs Organisation.

Christina writes for several publications, hosts the SingularityU Australia Webinar series ‘A Future By Design’, the podcast ‘Inspire for 5’, and speaks on the radio about creativity and innovation. In addition, she is a contributor to the award-winning Front-End Innovation blog.

Christina is an advocate for innovation committees; she produced the annual Hunter Innovation Festival and lectures in business, innovation and entrepreneurship.

Tom Leyden, Global Leader of IT at Woods Bagot

Tom is a global leader in IT with a broad range of sector experience. Over 20 years, he has worked in multiple industries, including finance, business services and, more recently, architecture and design.

His recent work includes delivering technology aligned to the organisation’s strategic needs in cutting-edge architectural design and cost-effective service delivery. Key to this has been getting the infrastructure into the cloud, developing strategies that connect technology with the next generations and driving technology innovation. With the rise of consumer-based technology, Tom believes that technology is no longer the domain of the IT department, and to really unlock technology for an organisation, we must enable people to bring technology to the game.

Sonia Clarke, Director, Future of Work, PwC

Sonia is currently part of PwC’s Future of Work practice, working with the executive teams to shape and articulate what their organisation’s future looks like.

At PwC, she leads a team of communications strategists, content designers, digital producers, artists, animators and creative directors. 

Before joining PwC, Sonia spent more than a decade in PR. She held senior agency leadership roles and directed award-winning campaigns that spanned consumer brands to corporate reputation management.

As we close the Standard Entries this Friday, we will hit a new milestone – receiving more entries than last year! And there is still time to get yours in, don’t miss out. Submit your entries.

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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.


  • 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:
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