Since its inception, the yearly Pause Fest has celebrated creativity and innovation among techies and entrepreneurs, encouraging them to share their skills and knowledge.

Over the last few years the festival has begun to bring students into the fold. Through its Pause Scholar program, Pause Fest will look to support five students excelling in their field to continue to succeed in their endeavours.

Kim Handley, an advertising student at RMIT said her experience as a Pause Fest Scholar last year was invaluable.

“At the time, I was pretty disenchanted with uni. I was about to start my final year studying advertising at RMIT and I wanted to quit. Pause Fest was the first time I felt immersed in the industry I wanted to be part of. At uni, it’s easy to follow the path laid out for you. Pause made me realise that I could forge my own path and still be fine,” she said.

“For a long time, I complained about the education system. Pause gave me the courage to finally take control. I’m now nine months down the track and can report that I’ve had a fantastic year. I’ve finished uni with no regrets and that alone feels amazing.”

This year’s Scholars include two students from Bschool, with one the creator of an app based on recording Aboriginal art; a student from the Tractor design school; and a computer science student from the Ngarara Willim Centre for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples at RMIT. This year’s crop of scholars is rounded out by a student working on the Australian team selected to take part in the upcoming SpaceX competition.

Hugo Faluondo, another 2015 Pause Scholar, said attending the conference has not only had a significant influence on developing his curiosity for tech and its development, but had a “great impact” on his love of graphic design, which he says has now become one of his biggest interests.

“I’m what some may call an ‘artsy’ kind of person, since I was little I’ve always enjoyed drawing and sketching here and there but visiting Pause opened up my mind to a new art in a way for me. I saw the amazing speakers and their different ways of creating static or even interactive designs, and this made me take a great interest,” he said.

“Pretty much immediately after Pause I started trying and testing things on Photoshop. I worked on designs both in my personal free time and for school, where at the end of the year I was awarded the Visual Communication and Design award for my year level, thanks to Pause.”

Handley can’t speak highly enough of her time working with Pause Fest, and has encouraged more students to get involved.

She said, “I’ve always been pretty skeptical about internships. I think that being a student is the perfect time to pursue passion projects which, if you are strategic, are great learning experiences, demonstrate your skills and help to differentiate you from your peers. It would be great to see Pause Fest reach more students and be the catalyst for projects like these.”

Startup Daily