Edmund Balnaves

As the CEO and Founder of Prosentient Systems, Dr Edmund Balnaves brings to the business over two decades of industry experience in information systems, with a focus on the development of effective solutions for information intensive environments. Having worked with Unix, Linux and Windows architectures at a system administrative level, Edmund's skill-set covers a broad range of architectures and development environments.

Dr Balnaves is a member of ALIA (Australian Library Information Association) (and director of ALIA 2013-4) and of the IEEE. He is a standing committee member of the Information Technology Section of IFLA (International Federation of Library Associations) since 2005, and chair 2013-2015.


Dr Balnaves is actively engaged in research and has an strong publication record in the area of web and library services.

Professional appointments

His senior professional appointments include:

  • Chair, IFLA IT Section, 2013-
  • Director, ALIA. 2012-2014
  • Informaton Officer & Standing Committee member IFLA IT Section, 2005-2012
  • Public Officer, Community Carpooling Association, 2013-
  • Senior Lecturer, University of Sydney, 2001 - 2004
  • Director, Prosentient Systems, 1997-
  • IT Manager, Univeristy Co-op Bookshop - 1994-1997

  • Inter-Publish- a web alerting and archiving system
  • Inter-Search - a document delivery service now used by over 400 libraries in the Asia-Pacific
  • Inter-Store - a project in smart client services for local archiving and "desktop information commons"
  • Inter-SearchDB - a federated search and database gateway to full text databases for small libraries
  • Inter-Publish - a content management system focussed on complex content reuse
  • Wallace - content management system, Australian Broadcasting Corporatoin

Technical skills Having worked with both Unix, Linux and Windows architectures at a System Administrative level, my skill-set covers a broad range of architectures and development environments.

  • Windows OS environments (Windows 95/98/ME/XP/7/8, 2000,2003,Vista, 2008, 2012)
  • Pick
  • Linux environments (Suse,RedHat, Debian, Ubuntu)
  • IOS (iPhone/IPad)
  • Android
  • Windows Phone

Technologies and languages:
  • TCP/IP, ISDN, DECNET, SLIP/PPP, Serial Comms
  • D&B Millennium, Tolas, Pick-based, MYOB
  • MS/SQL, MySQL,PostgresQL, Dbase/FoxPro, Access, Pick/Reality

Professional Qualifications
  • 2004 Doctorate (Phd) University of Sydney School of Information Technologies
  • 1992 MBA Northern Territory University
  • 1981 BA (Computing/Librarianship) - Canberra University (CCAE)

  • 2007 ALIA Research Award
  • 1981 LAA Award in the Special Area of Information Retrieval
  • 1993 NTU/Royal Brunei Airlines "Best Graduating Student" in Business
  • 1993 Australian Institute of Management Jim Gallacher Prize in International Management

Employment History
  • 1997 - present: Prosentient Systems Pty Ltd
  • including project work with: Telstra, Tower Australia (now TAL), FaHCsia (DSS), ABS and others
  • 2000 - 2004 SENIOR LECTURER University of Sydney
  • 1994 - 1997 MIS MANAGER University Cooperative Bookshop Ltd
  • 1993 - 1994 -DEVELOPMENT MANAGER GE Crane
  • 1992 - MBA studies full time (NTU)
  • 1988-1991 - IS DEVELOPMENT MANAGER Liquorland, Coles Myer
  • 1987-1988 PROJECT MANAGER (CSO4), ABC Research Division
  • 1983-1987 - COMPUTER MANAGER -Director Of Public Prosecutions - Melbourne/Sydney
  • 1981-1983 - PROGRAMMER/ANALYST PROGRAMMER - Dept of Health

In July 1983 Dr Balnaves was employed by the Special Prosecutor's Office (Gyles) as an analyst/programmer to establish a nationwide network to access databases with facilities for free text retrieval of documents. This involved design of systems for data entry of documents at remote sites using a WANG VS100 system, transfer of data using RJE to the Attorney-General's FACOM M180N host, and support of a nation-wide network accessing STATUS full text retrieval databases on the FACOM.
In June 1984 Dr Balnaves was assumed the position of Melbourne Division Manager for the Litigation Support Systems. Dr Balnaves was responsible for management of IT resources and design of IT systems. Upon the inception of this new office Dr Balnaves was responsible for the design and implementation on a short deadline of several computer systems for Litigation support. The effectiveness of the systems completed in this period was such that they were adopted for installation on a national scale in the other offices of the DPP.
This position involved the supervision of a team of IT and Word Processing staff, acquisition of equipment, user liaison and systems planning.

While at the Department of Health, Dr Balnaves was involved in the maintenance and enhancement of several large batch and on-line COBOL systems using IMS on an IBM 370/168 mainframe, as part of the Pharmaceutical Benefits team. My duties involved maintenance of the system, liaison with users in the IT centres around Australia, and assistance in the development of the new Pharmaceutical Benefits System.

David Cook

David started at Prosentient Systems as a systems librarian in January 2012. With a library career stretching back to 2006, he has worked in various academic and special libraries providing circulation, serials management, cataloguing, project management, legal research, data migration, and LMS management services.

Since 2012, he has supported and developed the open source software applications Koha and DSpace as well as several closed source applications for the New South Wales government. David also has worked on Koha projects for the National Library of Sweden and Stockholm University Library. In addition to the work he does for clients, he also contributes patches upstream to open source projects such as Koha, DSpace, NRPE, perlrdf, and more.

Specialising in software engineering, David is an enthusiastic problem-solver and is always keen to research, experiment, and learn in order to provide the best results for clients and fellow users of open source software.

Edmund's Detailed Experience

In September 1997 Dr Balnaves founded Prosentient Systems Pty Ltd. Over the last two decades this company has established itself as a significant provider of library and information services in the Asia Pacific region, and an specialist in technical internet service delivery.

Lecturing at University of Sydney as part of ongoing research into Content Management systems and the use of information systems in the Arts and Humanities. Designed and presented the unit of study "Arts Informatics Systems", and wrote the book "Information Systems in the Arts and Humanities" as part of the course. Prepared exams, delivered lectures and supervised tutors for course unit of study delivery. Presented seminars in the area of Content Management. Arts Informatics Systems was selected in 2001 for the Vice Chancellors Showcase. Also completed doctoral research.

In mid-April 1994 Dr Balnaves gained the position of MIS Manager for the University Cooperative Bookshop Ltd. At the time Dr Balnaves joined, the organisation had no IS strategic plan, and had systems that were both antiquated and entirely undocumented. The operating base was very close to its capacity limit and the IS department, as part of the accounts department, was severely understaffed. As part of a major realignment of the business function, Dr Balnaves put forward a strategic plan for the development of IS functions that was accepted by the Board. The MIS department was restructured with direct reporting to the CEO. The realignment included the formal establishment of Help Desk functions, proper establishment of system documentation and operational standards, development of a migration plan for existing systems and a strategic plan for development of store-based systems. While at the Co-op Dr Balnaves was responsible for implementation of one of the earliest .com.au ecommerce systems in Australia.

In January 1993, Dr Balnaves took up the position of IS Development Manager at Watson & Crane. In addition to the line management of Development staff, the position involved the selection, specification and development of major business systems, and the management of the roll-out and support of a major Point Of Sale implementation. The company began a fundamental restructuring of its business in 1992, including a re-evaluation of requirements for all its Information Systems. Arising from this review was the selection of the product TOLAS for both Point Of Sale and integrated Inventory and Financial control within the business. My responsibility, leading a small development team, was the project management of this implementation and its integration with other business systems.

In 1992 Dr Balnaves undertook an intense 1 year MBA at the Northern Territory University, located in Darwin, having won a Commonwealth Scholarship award (1 of only 5 such post-graduate business scholarships offered nationally). The programme offered a comprehensive business programme with an International management focus, covering Human Resource Management, Financial and Accounting systems, Strategic Planning, Team Building and Marketing techniques. On completion of the course Dr Balnaves was the winner of the Australian Institute of Management award for the course and co-winner of the Royal Brunei Balnaves best student award.

In August 1988 Dr Balnaves joined the IS department of Liquorland, a division of Coles Myer, as IS Development Manager. At the time Dr Balnaves joined, the Department comprised two IS staff, and the business was largely dependant on Coles Myer Corporate computing systems for Accounting or Merchandise support. In the three years that followed Dr Balnaves was responsible for the selection, enhancement and development of a range of systems to support the Business Unit. This also involved building an IS Development team of 6 analyst/programmers, and the supervision of contractors for a range of system management and development projects.
In 1988 Dr Balnaves participated in the development of a strategic plan for the Business Unit, in conjunction with the GM IS. In 1989 Dr Balnaves oversaw the acquisition and installation of a VAX 3400 at the Liquorland Head Office for Office Automation (using ALLIN1) and small systems development (using Powerhouse). The introduction of a 4GL had a significant impact on the ability of the Department to deliver effective systems in a short timeframe. In early 1989, Liquorland and other divisions of Coles Myer became fully responsible for their own financial systems. As a result, Dr Balnaves oversaw the implementation on VAX systems of McCormack & Dodge Accounting and Human Resources systems (AP-PLUS and HR:M).
From 1991, Dr Balnaves led the evaluation and implementation of new systems for Price Management, Continuous Inventory and Promotional Management, and participated in the tendering and evaluation of replacement Point Of Sale equipment for the 285 Liquorland stores linking via X.25 to host-based ICL Unix SVR4 DRS/6000 systems.

In the position of ABC Research Computer Manager Dr Balnaves was responsible for the development and implementation of a graphically-based Executive Information Systems: the McNair Anderson Television & Radio Ratings Information System. The project involved the development of an online database for statistical analysis and reporting with business graphics on the Ratings results. Dr Balnaves was responsible for all stages of development, implementation and post-implementation training. The project was completed (in time and on budget) by April 1988. On completion of this project Dr Balnaves transferred to the Television division to manage the development of an Equipment Maintenance and reporting system (EMPIRE) in Powerhouse.


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    Edmund Balnaves
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Our Mission

Build, integrate and manage efficient and sustainable systems. Innovate in functionality, design and building technology according to the client needs and preferences. Assist and advice clients with all levels of technology expertise. Use the best available open source components and our own integration systems to create well-rounded solutions.

We are specialists in collaborative solutions and can help your business innovate

Who We Are

We are an IT company that builds, integrates and manages efficient and sustainable systems. We innovate in functionality, design and building technology according to the client needs and preferences. Assist and advice clients with all levels of technology expertise. Use the best available open source components and our own integration systems to create well-rounded solutions.

Contact Us

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+61 2 9212 0885




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