After graduating from the University of Liverpool, UK in 2002, Alva worked in the public sector in her home town of Sligo, Ireland. After moving to Australia in 2007, Alva has worked in hand therapy in the private and public sectors in Sydney and Perth. Alva joined the Specialised Hand Therapy Services team in February 2009. Alva also has a BSc Honours degree in Physiotherapy (2007) and completed a certified course in Neuromuscular therapy (2005). She is a Member of the Australian Hand Therapy Association (AHTA) and has gained a Certificate of Hand Therapy (USA, 2012). Recently, Alva has completed the Advanced Close Trauma course run by the AHTA, MONIS (Mobilisation of the NeuroImmune System) by the NOI group, and Mulligans Examination and Treatment of the Upper Quadrant, by AAP Education. Alva presented at the WAOTA HIG in March 2019 on Paediatric Fracture Management.