It is not yet known what the complaint relates to, but The Australian reported that the church has hired external consultants to conduct an investigation.

Elder is a highly influential figure in the sector, and his public campaign against former Education Minister Simon Birmingham dominated headlines for much of this year.

In September, Elder topped The Australian Financial Review’s list of the five most powerful people in education, described in their online wrap-up as a “one-person ministerial killing machine”.

CEM senior executive Jim Miles will stand in for Elder during the investigation, The Australian reported.