Women and purpose led businesses take the most wins at Pause Awards ‘22

6 December, 2022
Women and purpose led businesses take the most wins at Pause Awards ‘22 | News | Pause Awards
Ann Nounce profile pic
Ann Nounce
6 December, 2022

The annual business awards programme for the most ambitious and forward-thinking companies, Pause Awards has announced 50 bold winners for 2022, with the champions from: Great Wrap, Verve, Bare Cremation, Separation Guide, Wisr, Circle In, Pentanet, Evee, TernX and many more.

December 6, 2022 Melbourne, Australia Pause Awards, powered by VicGov, is building better ecosystems in Australia through their business awards programme that celebrates only the real winners, now in the 5th annual edition.

In 2022, Pause Awards upgraded to a lavishly designed BOND Melbourne bar, a local icon that gathered people from all over the country to attend the biggest night for the Australian innovation ecosystem. The awards were packed with sophistication, palpitating excitement, tears, silly industry hosts and finished off with clubbing to classics.

The Pause Awards are highly competitive! The entries are evaluated by 60 international and local judges, including founders, CEO’s, execs and entrepreneurs who are experts in their field. Judges ensure only the highest quality of winning entries is selected each year, on their merit and impact, not just growth. 

​​The 2022 entrants showed businesses have a key role to play in creating a more equitable and regenerative world. Submissions were authentic and bold in their approach to tackling some of society’s biggest challenges and delivering real and measurable change where it matters.

Lee Tonitto B. Com, MBA, GAICD and Chair at Pause Awards

There are too many upgrades this year, we’ll mention only a few, from the complete website redesign, Entry Portal built from scratch, 14 new categories, entry questions to wearable trophy design! 

Companies entered are mostly small businesses with less than ten employees, closely followed by medium size businesses of up to 100 employees, and there has been a significant growth of over 100 employees companies applying. The average founder age this year has dropped to 29, compared to 37 in a previous year.

The Education sector jumped one spot up to fourth place, remarkably the Food & Beverage industry has completely disappeared and Health entered the Top 5 industry charts this year. The ‘Defiant Ones’ category, for new tech breakthroughs, took over leadership from ‘I Wish I’d Done That’ for sheer brilliance.

I’m honoured to be recognized. The Pause Awards build better ecosystems by recognizing real people who do real things, and I’m so proud to be one of those

Fiona Wood AM FAHMS, Hall of Fame ‘22 winner for pioneering the innovative ‘spray-on skin’ technique (Recell)

“This award programme is not just about recognising the real winners, through excellence, performance and effectiveness in the Australian marketplace, we’re celebrating ingenuity and total commitment to tackle serious problems in response to local and global challenges and unstable markets,” Hedon added.

Out of 50 winners, 7 double title winners went to Bare Cremation, The Separation Guide, Wisr, Circle In, Pentanet, Evee, TernX and 2 triple titles went to Great Wrap and Verve. 

There were only 7x Grand Prix awards out of 32 categories, Grand Prix stands for best in category, and are awarded only if the Judging Board fully agrees, those went to Bare Cremation, Great Wrap, Music Health, The Separation Guide, Midnight Health, Vanessa Doake and Verve.

The ceremony was masterfully conducted by returning ecosystem champion and MC Garry Williams from Tractor Ventures who announced the awards are returning on 18 May 2023. Winners for 2022 are:

Diverse Co. – Wisr
Work Sweet Work – Honeycomb Strategy
Work Sweet Work – Wisr
Work Sweet Work – PwC Australia

Company of the Year – Bodd
Defiant Ones – Great Wrap
Defiant Ones – Switch4Schools
Hammer – Marketplacer
Hammer – Aussie Broadband
Hammer – Pentanet
Hammer – Aquarzon
I Wish I’d Done That – Great Wrap
I Wish I’d Done That – TernX
I Wish I’d Done That – Labflow by Comply Group
I Wish I’d Done That – Driveschool Enterprises
I Wish I’d Done That – LunchFox
On the rise – Music Health
On the rise – Bare Cremation
Women In Business – Christina Hobbs
Women In Business – Kate Pollard
Women In Business – Angela Harbinson

B-Good – Linkmate
Circular Pioneer – Goterra
Circular Pioneer – Circle In
Going Green – Verve
Going Green – evee
You’ve Got Ethics – The People Spot

Design First – Quad Lock
Design First – TernX
Wildfire – Food Frontier
Wildfire – Pentanet
Wildfire – Linktree
Out of the Garage – Matrak
Out of the Garage – STEM Punks

Do You Know Who I am – Mark Brownlee
Future Builder – Slava Kozlovskii
Future Builder – Jordan Shreeve
Future Builder – Alex Goulios
Hottest Hub – Hub Australia
C-Suite – Dom Pym
Launch Pad – INCUBATE (University of Sydney)
Super Connector – Michelle Mannering

Hall of Fame – Fiona Wood

Defiant Ones – Bare Cremation
Going Green – Great Wrap
Hammer – Music Health
On the rise – The Separation Guide
Wildfire – Midnight Health
Women In Business – Vanessa Doake
You’ve Got Ethics – Verve

Circular Pioneer – Circle In
Women In Business – Circle In
On the rise – Bare Cremation
Defiant Ones – Bare Cremation
Diverse Co. – Wisr
Work Sweet Work – Wisr
Hammer – Pentanet
Wildfire – Pentanet
Going Green – evee
Future Builder – Slava Kozlovskii
I Wish I’d Done That – TernX
Design First – TernX
Women In Business – Angela Harbinson
On the rise – The Separation Guide

Going Green – Verve
Women In Business – Christina Hobbs
You’ve Got Ethics – Verve
Defiant Ones – Great Wrap
I Wish I’d Done That – Great Wrap
Going Green – Great Wrap

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

Related posts

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