with judges


Meet our incredible judges in this short 20 min interview about their careers and what excites them about this year's Pause Awards. You can find more interviews here on our YouTube Playlist.




Judging panel are made up of founders, entrepreneurs, investors and leaders across different industries and companies such as The Australian, GGV Capital, Antler, Red Cross, PwC, DDB, Woods Bagot and many more. This year we have over 40 judges across the globe, but mostly from Australia, joining us to review your entries.

Final deadline has been extended to Friday 15 OCT 2021 at midnight AEST.


“I'm really excited to see innovation from entrants, in particular how they are using technology and partnerships to drive amazing shared user experiences.”
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Carolyn Breeze
Leader in Fintech and Payments Industry

Joe Mayock

Head of Creative, Six Black Pens

David Swan

Tech Editor, The Australian

Farley Blackman

CEO, YBF Ventures

“I'm excited to see the weird and wonderful ways entrants are leveraging creativity to create meaningful long lasting impact for their teams and help bring the future forward.”
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James Gilmore
Creative Director, DesignStudio

Josh Gardiner

Director, Gardiner Communications

Paul Lange

Business Optimisation & Growth Accelerant

Christina Gerakiteys

Co CEO, SingularityU Australia

“Do you know who I am Award” - I like it because more silent achievers should be recognized.”
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Anup Batra
Chief Growth Officer, Arrow Digital

Callum Fitzhardinge

Associate Creative Director, MediaMonks

Peter Bray

Founder, Bray & Co.

Shamila Gopalan

CEO & Founder, HerWit

“I'm excited to see the innovative, ethical and purpose driven ways people are innovating. I'm particularly keen to see what new and exciting business ideas female founders have come up with!”
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Jules Brooke
Founder of Handle Your Own PR and She’s The Boss

Penelope Barr

Head of innovation, Product Lab & CEO, Allens Linklaters

“In order to make a better world we need to shift the framework on what behaviors and actions are seen as "successful." Awarding impactful businesses signals to the world that having positive impact is important and should be seen as a key indicator of success.”
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Julie Demsey
Coach, hypnotherapist & advisor

Nathaniel Diong

CEO, Future Minds Network

Stephen Foxworthy

Managing Director, Fjord

Ben King

Head of CSR & Public Affairs, Finder

Damien Hashemi

Head of Design, ARQ

Sonia Clarke

Director - Future of Work, PwC

Damian Sharpley

Strategy Partner, CX Lavender

“Keen to see what's uppermost on the minds of those submitting and how they think to solve key challenges.”
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Alexis Dallas
Snr UX Designer, Nintex

Mario Van der Meulen

Head of CX Strategy & Design, Tribal Worldwide

Paola Rocchetti

Art Director, Void n’ Disorder

Katarina Bogut

Digital Producer, ACMI

“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. Together, we can challenge typical ways of thinking, acting and operating.”
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Melanie Rayment
Dir., Social Innovation Consulting, TACSI

Hannah Nickels

Client Solutions Manager, Facebook

Ruth Young

Chief People Officer, Mobi2Go

Adam Pryor

Co-Founder, OpenSolar

"I WISH I’D DONE THAT AWARD" - I don't mind that other people launch great companies. In fact, it's inspiring. I'm excited when I see a company I wish that I'd built. It makes me want to stay creative and to keep pushing.”
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Andy Rosic
VP of Product, 5th Kind

Anne Miles

Founder & Managing Director, Suits&Sneakers

“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?”
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Will Hayward
CEO/Board member, Private Media (and The Wheeler Centre)

Dr Natasha Dwyer

Senior Lecturer, Victoria University

Jordan Green
Innovation Expert

Uno de Waal
Head of Product, Between 10and5

Jillian Zsidy
Vice President, Melbourne Angels

Lee Tonitto

Managing Director, Tonitto & Partners

“I was blown away by the truly innovative nature of the 2020 entries and can't wait to see what this year brings!”
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Jamie Finnegan
Global Head of Talent, Finder

Vanessa Toholka

Senior Product Manager, Allens

Matt Taylor

Creative Consultant

Danielle Mastronardo

Head of PR and Marketing, FINCH

"I'm excited to see how people/teams have applied insight in innovative ways to overcome business challenges."
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Ashleigh Gardiner
Data & Performance Manager, My Muscle Chef

Matt Gardan

Big Chief, Digital Native

Rachael Shea

Chair, Design Program Committee & Senior Lecturer, SAE Creative Media Institute

Lynda Coker

Director, Volt Bank / Scale Investors / Seed Space VC / The Studio

“I'm pumped to see entries for the Creative Genius Award. Creativity can take on many forms, not just arts or design, and creative thinking in business, strategy or technology gets me just as excited as anything else. Having the ability to execute is equally as important, so I'm looking forward to seeing some really well-rounded entries here.”
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Elias Proctor
Creative, FutureLabs

Daniel Hewitt

Founder & CTO, FutureLabs

Suni Stolic

Head of Customer Experience, Squiz

Gary Wertheimer

Managing Director, Giw

“The classic - out of the Garage Award. Firms that have come from the dream and proven themselves to the world. It recognises the genuine toil and doggedness that is required to move beyond the startup phase.”
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Tom Leyden
Global Leader of IT, Woods Bagot

Laurent Marcus

Creative Technologist, Special Group

Giovanni Bucci

Director - Motion Designer, Void n’ Disorder

Ben Ford

Head of Growth, Frollo

“Our impact is the result of what we set out to do with our purpose. It is the single most important thing to measure and reflect on. Having a guiding light, and businesses and startups to look up to is incredibly important for the entire community.”
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Suni Stolic
Head of Customer Experience, Squiz



Judges are asked to score against below criteria and to provide feedback if needed on some entries.

While each category is different, overall judges will be looking for and scoring:

Business success > SCORES 30%
Define your business success and give it a context. Explain the challenges and objectives.

Smart tactics > SCORES 30%
What strategies have you deployed? How resilient is your approach and what are the insights? 

Positive impact > SCORES 40%
Show your results and execution. How did it impact internal/external stakeholders and the society?

Our jury panel has carefully selected senior industry-leading professionals from all around the world. Each year we refresh the jury with particular emphasis on our categories, gender and ethnic balance.

In 2021 we aim to hit over 50 judges, that’s triple from last year. And finally, our judges work separately to asses the entries. There is no group discussion and politics that may affect the final result. Every entry is assessed fair and on its own merit.

There will be two judging rounds, Shortlist and Final Round.

In both rounds, scoring is done anonymously and confidentially. If no entry meets the criteria above for a given category, there will be no winner for that category. Judges must recuse themselves from voting on their own company, those who don't will be withdrawn.

Some past winners include
SUAS-01 Afterpay-01 IsoKing-01 Linktree-01 Birchal-01 Airwallex-01 Koala-01 Envato-01 F45-01-01 HH-01

Top 5 things you should know
Any business can apply, not just startups. We are industry agnostic.
You can apply from anywhere in the world.
There is no limit how many entries you can have.
Early stage startups under two years can now enter the Underground Award.
Your entry needs to be executed in the past year as of 1 July 2021. Max two years if you haven’t entered it before.


 Security concerns
We don't share any financial information publicly. But you can also make a note in your submission if you don't want to be promoted as a business. T&C’s are outlined here.


Need more help?

Our awards team can help. Whether you have a specific query or would like an advice, find out how to get in touch so we can help.

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