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Creating meaningful active learning experiences can be a significant and sometimes comical challenge for a new lecturer. In this article, I describe my own active learning experience as I attempted to break down the separation between tutorials and lectures that was typical of the university education I experienced. The adoption of a sustainability framework for decision-making processes associated with major infrastructure developments in the Australia water industry is a recent innovation which has provided a convenient vehicle for supporting this change. A case study drawn from a fourth year Environmental Engineering Practice class is used to illustrate how the framework can be applied to provide new and relevant curriculum. The overall intent of this paper is to support new lecturers on their own journeys into teaching, and perhaps to remind their experienced mentors of a particular challenge their colleagues face at the beginning.