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Jaye Radisich - former COSBOA CEO and WA Minister

Tributes flow for small business champion Jaye Radisich

The former CEO of the Council of Small Business of Australia (COSBOA) and the youngest woman ever to be elected to the WA Parliament died at the age of 35 last month, and tributes from people in the business community have begun to flow for Jaye Radisich.

Tributes have flooded in for former Labour politician and small business champion Jaye Radisich, who died from cancer last month at the age of 35.

Deena Shiff, former head of Telstra Business, worked very closely with Jaye in the development of a website to help small businesses transition to the new Fair Work Act, in partnership with the Federal Government in 2009.

“Jaye Radisich had a passionate commitment for small business,” said Shiff. “She had an ability to get things done and her energy and drive led to our venture with the Federal Government. Jaye’s can do attitude will be sorely missed in Australian public life.”

Journalist Julianne Dowling said: “As a small business writer for Fairfax during her time with COSBOA, I interviewed Jaye on a number of occasions and was always impressed by her focus and grip on the issues of the day. She always had something astute to say on behalf of small business. Jaye was a woman with a destiny, and deeply touched many people in her brief time here.”

David Airey, immediate past president of the Real Estate Institute of Australia, said: “I would like to pay my respects for Jaye’s work at COSBOA and for small business in Australia. She will be remembered as someone who worked hard for the small business community as she did in her electorate as the Member for Swan Hill in the WA Parliament. I valued the contributions Jaye made to our industry as well as the wider small business community in the great nation.”

Jaye’s good friend, Senator Louise Pratt, paid tribute to her in the Senate on 20 March. She said: “Jaye was public about her cancer—as a busy public figure it was not something she could hide. I also know that, though this was difficult, she knew it was a story worth sharing with others. It was worth sharing so that people would understand the importance of organ donation and access to good treatment and as a symbol of courage and inspiration to others.

“She went in search of new treatment in China. She kept a blog titled My search for a miracle cancer cure in China. I cannot even begin to contemplate how difficult this was, but she did it because she wanted to share her experiences with others so they could learn and benefit from her own journey. It is an inspiring read and an illustration of Jaye’s pure courage in the face of adversity.”

Dynamic Business editor Jen Bishop said: “I got to know Jaye well as a colleague and friend during her time at COSBOA and found her to be a breath of fresh air. Not only was she a genuinely passionate advocate for small business, she was a fun and ballsy young woman who I considered an inspiring female role model.

Jaye’s funeral was held in Perth on 24 March. A condolence motion was moved in the Western Australia State Parliament on 27 March. Her 36th birthday would have been on 29 March.

–The entire team at Dynamic Business would like to express their heartfelt sympathies to Jaye’s family and friends and her partner Brad Maguire.