Pause Awards 2021 opens for entries

9 June, 2021
Pause Awards 2021 opens for entries | News | Pause Awards
Ann Nounce profile pic
Ann Nounce
9 June, 2021

Enter before 16 July to take advantage of discounted Early Entry fees (A$265), and you can save yourself 20% off Standard Entry.

When you pay the Pause Awards entry fee, you will automatically be considered for the award and be put forward to the judges. We aim to hold our first in-person Awards Night event because we couldn’t hold one due to the pandemic last year. However, if that’s not possible again, we will host this online.

Our entry prices remain one of the most affordable in the market.

Standard Entry fees are A$325, and they end on 24 September. You will save yourself an additional 20% if you submit before Late Entry kicks in with A$395 per entry.

It pays off to enter early, before 16 July, as you could be saving 40% in fees. This is especially helpful if you plan to submit multiple entries across categories.

This year the application process is simple. We are using Typeform, and it only takes seven minutes to complete the application and pay. You can try it now to see how it goes here.

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2021 Categories

There are 22 categories this year, which is double from last year. The categories are not industry-specific. We have four new categories in Sustainability, two new categories for Creative, two for Breakthroughs and two for emerging businesses and individuals. Please find out more about our categories here.

New Sustainability Categories

This year we have introduced four sustainability categories across the board. These categories are awarding circular economy, ethics in business, clean energy, climate change, healthy environment, and workplace culture projects that consciously reduce the impact on the planet and leave a positive social contribution. We hope you will appreciate and enter them.

Our Judges

Pause Awards judging panel comprises 40 industry leaders, entrepreneurs, execs, journalists, founders, academics, creatives and investors from all over the globe. Past judge David Swan, Tech Editor at The Australian, said, “Pause Awards are a great way to discover and recognise talent”. We are looking for a few more judges from social good, ethics and sustainability to join this year’s awards. Please submit your expression of interest here if you would like to join.

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Why Enter Pause Awards 2021?

The Pause Awards program was born to discover and celebrate the next generation of thinkers and doers.

Shortlisted entries will be published on our website and provided with promotional kits to share on their social media channels. In addition, winners will receive a beautiful handmade Award Trophy, which comes with a cost but is optional.

2018 Winner of Unexpected Twist Award Cyan Ta’eed, Exec Dir/ Co-Founder, Envato, said, “Well, it a) made me laugh when I read it and b) made me feel a lot prouder than any other award I’ve received. I’m honoured”.

Important Dates and Fees

When you pay the Pause Awards entry fee, you will automatically be considered for the award and be put forward to the judges. We aim to hold our first in-person Awards Night event because we couldn’t hold one due to the pandemic last year. However, if that’s not possible again, we will host this online.

Let Pause Awards tell your story
Entering first-timers
Check 2023 Pause Awards winners
Pause Awards Night: the community of champs
Pause Awards Night
2023 Years Summary page is here
Summary Page

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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.


  • 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