Alison grew up in Wainuiomata and Lower Hutt in the North Island of New Zealand. She was first taught viola in Wellington by Elizabeth Turnbull and New Zealand Symphony Orchestra Principal Violist Vyvyan Yendoll. She was also tutored by Beth Rogers in Christchurch.
Alison was a member of the New Zealand National Youth Orchestra in 1975 which toured to Europe, Japan and China.
From 1975 to 1978 Alison studied as a member of the New Zealand Broadcasting Corporation (NZBC) Schola Musica under Ashley Heenan.
In 1978 Alison moved to Sydney to join the ABC Training Orchestra under Bob Miller and studied the viola with Laszlo Videk and Winnifred Durie.
Alison moved to Perth in 1981 and has been a committed member of WASO ever since. Away from the orchestra Alison enjoys teaching and helping mature amateur players, keeping fit and reading.