The Pause Awards recipients are handpicked from a group of industry experts who recognise greatness around Australia. 

We know awards are mostly d'oh… well, they are great if there are certain merits to them. If not, they can just be money-making, "fart-sniffing", superficial contests. We created an award for a different purpose. There are no nominations, no campaigns, no fees and, definitely no fart sniffing.



Our award categories are not standard. They are focused on ACTUAL IMPACT – oddly a crucial category that is missing from the other awards. At Pause Fest, we are all about the development of the ecosystem and without the actual impact of businesses, we would be swimming in nothing but fluff and smoke (cough).

We want to recognise the future builders for their impact on the industry, community, society and the ecosystem. If the word-of-mouth about your business, startup, product or a human-legend in your team travels across the nation to the ears of our diverse programming team, then you deserve our Rainbow Trophy.

In 2020, we are adding one more category – the Big Mouth Award.



Hammer Award – For nailing it

This award recognises a company’s success – on their own terms – in the market.



Nightingale Housing



Out of the Garage Award – For scaling global

This award recognises a company’s global growth, expansion, and success.


F45 Training



Super Connector Award – For being the community champ

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

Bri Johnstone, Creative Director, StartWest

Dianna Somerville, The Regional Entrepreneur

Jodie Imam, GM, SBE Australia

Judy Anderson, CEO, Startup Victoria

Stephanie Palmer-Derrien, Startup Editor, StartupSmart



Prodigy Award – For being exceptional

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

Ash Davies, CEO, Tablo

Max Mito, CEO & Co-Founder, Strong Room

Thomas King, CEO, Food Frontier



Unexpected Twist Award – For a great pivot

This award recognises a person that has taken unexpected pivot in their business or career.

Athan Didaskalou & Rich Li, Co-Founders, July



I Wish I’d Done That Award – For sheer brilliance

This award recognises a company’s simple and clever idea in a niche market.






Do You Know Who I Am Award – For the silent achiever

This award recognises a person that has been responsible for the success of their company from the back stage.

Byron Scaf, CEO, Stile Education

Edda Hamar, CEO & Co-Founder, Undress Runways & Lána

Julia Waite, Head of Operations, SproutX

Nathan Murphy, Co-Founder, QuizBreaker

Winitha Bonney, Founder, Amina of Zaria



Big Mouth Award - For media cut through

This award recognises a company that has delivered clever marketing tactics.



Up Bank



Who gives rainbows away? We do!

We believe unicorns feed on them. It’s all part of the magical entrepreneurial journey.


Awards trophy

Website Award GroupPhoto