Jana Pittman helps Western Sydney University raise $760,000

Students and research projects at Western Sydney University have been given a massive boost with almost $800,000 raised this month.

The university received more than 800 donations to total $760,000 for the first-ever Giving Day on September 4.

Part of the fundraising efforts included abseiling down the Peter Shergold Building at the university's Parramatt campus.

Former Olympian Jana Pittman - who is studying medicine at the Campbelltown campus - was involved in the abseil.

"Abseiling down nine levels of the Peter Shergold Building was a huge challenge for me, but it doesn't at all compare the challenge for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students moving away from country to take on studying medicine," she said.

"It was fantastic to see friends, alumni, staff and students of the university come together to raise $760,000.

"The enthusiasm and generosity of the community will allow the university to do even more to support the region through student scholarships and its research initiatives."

Ms Pittman said it was so important to raise funds for the university, because scholarships could change not only lives, but Australian society.

"Western Sydney University has been providing life-changing education and research opportunities in greater western Sydney for 30 years," she said.

"Many students are the first in their families to attend university and must overcome challenges to complete their degree and pursue tehir dream career.

As a student as WSU's School of Medicine, I have seen first-hand the university's commitment to making a positive contribution to close the gap by increasing the number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander doctors in Australia.

"I was inspired by this and wanted to support fellow students by raising money for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Accommodation Scholarships as part of my participation in the Chancellor's Challenge."

Ms Pittman said she realised after having her own children that medicine was her future.

"I have wanted to be a doctor since I was five years old," she said.

"Having kids made me realise it was obstetrics, gynaecology or paediatrics that I wanted to pursue.

"Western Sydney University filled a huge hole in my life after sport and gave me a chance to achieve for myself something far greater than an Olympic medal."