The Australian Ex-Prisoners of War Memorial located in the Ballarat Botanical Gardens records the names of more than 35 000 Australian POWs (about 8600 died or were killed when they were prisoners of war, more than 4000 have no known grave). The lists of names on the memorial are arranged in alphabetical order, grouped by conflict, commencing with the Boer War on the left through to the Korean War and are etched into the 130m long black granite wall. There were no Australia POWs in the Vietnam War.
The booklet printed for the opening ceremony states:
The Australian Ex-Prisoners of War Memorial is dedicated to all Australians who became prisoners of war while fighting the enemy.
The names include: those who were serving in the Australian Defence Forces; Australians serving in the Merchant Navy; and Australians who enlisted in the allied Defence Forces and were made prisoners of war while fighting the common enemy.
No complete list of names of Australian prisoners of war has previously been compiled. Records from the Australian War Memorial, the Department of Veterans' Affairs, the National Archives of Australia, the State Library of Victoria, military histories, history webpages, newspapers and replies resulting from an Australia-wide appeal for names have been consulted. There are errors and gaps in the records available. Unfortunately some names will have been overlooked. Provision has been made for additional names to be added to the Memorial.
The text on the Montevideo Maru Memorial located near the center of the POW Memorial complex states:
The single obelisk lists the wars where Australian prisoners were taken.
On the grouped obelisks are etched known places where Australian Prisoners of War were kept. These include: Siam, Germany, New Guinea, New Britain, Transvaal, Celebes, Libya, Borneo, Natal, Japan, Poland, Timor, Ambon Island, Turkey, Sumatra, Singapore, Cape Colony, New Ireland, Czechoslovakia, Hainan Island, France, Manchuria, Palestine, Austria, Indo-China, Switzerland, Dutch New Guinea, Syria, Belgium, Papua, Formosa, Italy, Mesopotamia, Greece, Korea, Sweden, Malaya, Crete, Holland, Burma and Orange Free State. The fallen obelisk symbolises those unknown places where Australian POWs died.